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Tooth erosion can affect people of all ages. However, advanced tooth erosion is most commonly seen in the elderly.

While dietary acids are the usual causes of tooth erosion in children and teenagers, as a person advances in years reduced saliva production can lead to more severe forms of erosion, which can comprise both oral and general health.

Saliva helps to protect against tooth erosion because it neutralises damaging acids in foods and beverages. If saliva production is compromised, these acids have a greater opportunity to attack tooth enamel. Known as Xerostomia or dry mouth syndrome, the causes of reduced saliva production are varied. Ageing can cause a dry mouth, as can polypharmacy, which is the need for the use of several medications at a time.



A range of medications, including the following, can lead to reduced saliva production and can cause a dry mouth:

Acidic food and beverages that attack the surface of tooth enamel are common contributors to tooth erosion in all age groups. Reduced salivary function increases susceptibility of these foods and drinks, making tooth erosion more likely.



In the case of Xerostomia, keeping the mouth moist is the best way to minimise acid attacks. The following preventative behaviours are some of the other ways to minimise acid attacks: