This section is from the book "Dental Medicine. A Manual Of Dental Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Ferdinand J. S. Gorgas. Also available from Amazon: Dental Medicine.
Erosion of the Teeth is a progressive chemical solution of the enamel of the labial surfaces of the incisors, canines, and sometimes of the bicuspids, generally in the form of a continuous horizontal groove, smooth and regular, and not due to caries or mechanical abrasion; in some cases it may extend over nearly the whole of the labial surface, the color of the enamel being rarely changed. Erosion is the removal of the surface of the enamel, without apparent cause, although it has been ascribed to an altered secretion of the labial follicular glands, acid in reaction probably being the solvent. It is usually found in persons with a gouty diathesis. Its first appearance consists of a slight cup- or dish-shaped cavity in the enamel a short distance from the margin of the gum, usually on the anterior surfaces of the front teeth, although it is not confined to such teeth, the small excavations gradually broadening and deepening until the surface of the dentine becomes exposed, which remains hard and finely polished ; and a pit or groove is at length formed which gradually widens and deepens until a considerable portion of the crown of the tooth is destroyed. The affected area of tooth structure remains polished, and the invasion of the dentine is less rapid than the surface destruction of the enamel. True erosion differs from the destruction of the enamel in the form of pits and irregularities 12 due to an acid condition of the fluids of the mouth, lactic acid being a prominent factor in promoting fermentative action.
The continued use of alkaline applications and alkaline mouth-washes. Phillips' milk of magnesia is an excellent application. In advanced stages, its progress may be arrested by fillings of durable material.