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Does Aspirin Cause Tooth Erosion?

There have been several published studies that report that the use of aspirin can contribute to the cause of tooth erosion. These studies report both laboratory (extracted teeth placed in a water and aspirin mixture) and clinical case studies of people taking six doses of aspirin powder per day for a two to three year period. In the laboratory study, scientists have observed changes in the surface of both the enamel (outer covering of the teeth) and dentin (the layer of tooth structure under the enamel) of the extracted teeth tested. (1)

In the clinical case study, the top surface of the teeth (occlusal surface) had severe erosion of the lower molars and premolars and on the lower anterior teeth on the tongue side. The use of the aspirin powder was the cause of this tooth erosion to occur. (2)

Another study involving 42 children with rheumatoid arthritis who were taking aspirin tablets through chewing or swallowing reports that 25 children who were chewing aspirin tablets experienced severe erosion of the upper and lower primary molars and their first permanent molars. The 17 children who swallowed the aspirin tablets experienced no erosion of their teeth. Thus, concluding that the tooth erosion these children developed was due to chewing the aspirin tablets. (3)

Aspirin can affect the structure of the tooth surface depending how the analgesic is taken and can cause irritation to the soft tissue in the mouth. Consult with your dentist and physician if required doses of aspirin are recommended for a medical condition.

1. Zero, DT. Etiology of dental erosion: extrinsic factors. Eur J Oral Sci 1996; 104(2[Pt2]): 162-77.
2. McCracken M, O’Neal SJ. Dental erosion and aspirin headache powders: a clinical report. J Prosthodont 2000; 9(2):95-8.
3. Sullivan RE, Kramer W. Iatrogenic erosion of teeth. ASDC J Dent Child 1983; 50 (3): 192-6.

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