Dental Erosion

Dental erosion occurs when gastric acid erodes dentin and enamel. Patients with bulimia and severe GERD are at great risk for enamel erosions, even at very young ages.


  • Teeth become smooth and glassy.
  • Pulp exposure causes hot and cold sensitivity.


  • Bulimia
  • Severe gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • Methamphetamine use
  • Acidic drinks
  • Medication effects

Preventive Measures

  • Rinse with water after reflux or vomiting.
  • Do not brush teeth immediately after reflux or vomiting as this may further hasten enamel erosion.

Severe enamel erosions in a young bulimic


Lingual erosions in a patient with severe GERD

Mandibular tori are also present

John McDowell, DDS
John McDowell, DDS


Gandara BK, Truelove EL, Diagnosis and Management of Dental Erosions, Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice 1999 Oct;(1)1:16-23.

Li H, Zou Y, Ding G. Dietary Factors Associated with Dental Erosion: A Meta-Analysis. 2012. PLoS ONE; 2012, 7(8): Special section p1.

Bassiouny MA. Dental erosion due to abuse of illicit drugs and acidic carbonated beverages. Gen Dent. 2013; 61(2):38-44.