This week alone I have had two patients attend appointments complaining of very sensitive teeth.

On examination I noticed very obvious erosion on all the lower back teeth and also on the palatal aspects of some of the upper teeth. I asked the usual diet related questions assuming they would mention fizzy drinks. Both gasped and said they had very healthy diets with low sugar intake. I asked what they drank and both consumed cups of hot water and lemon daily.

Acidic foods and drinks can cause enamel erosion. Lemon juice is highly acidic (citric acid), so over time, routine consumption of lemon juice will erode your enamel.   Not only is erosion unsightly (it makes the teeth appear hollowed and yellowed), but as previously stated, it may also make your teeth sensitive to hot and cold food.

The temperature of your hot water does make a difference. Since the rate of chemical reactions increases with temperature, erosion will be more severe at higher temperatures.

My advise was to try fresh mint or ginger tea … neither patients seemed that excited about the prospect of changing from their favourite tipple !!

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