Causes of acid erosion
When tooth enamel is exposed to acids (from food, beverages or the stomach), it temporarily softens and loses some of its mineral content. Saliva will help neutralize acidity, restore the mouth's natural balance and slowly harden the tooth enamel. However, because the tooth's recovery process is slow, if the acid attack happens frequently, the tooth enamel does not have the chance to repair.
Some fruit juices, wine and various fruits can be acidic and therefore potentially damaging to teeth. Acidic foods should not and cannot easily be avoided, but care needs to be taken as to how they are consumed.
It is not just what is consumed that causes acid erosion, but also the way that acidic foods and drinks are held within the mouth. Holding or retaining acidic beverages in the mouth prolongs the acid exposure on the teeth, therefore increasing the risk of tooth enamel erosion. Swishing an acidic beverage, for example, can increase the beverage's contact with the tooth or teeth, increasing the risk of tooth erosion.
Tooth erosion can also result from intrinsic acids e.g. as a consequence of bulimia (vomiting) or indigestion (regurgitation/gastric reflux).