Acid Reflux and Your Teeth
Initially reported hundreds of years ago, dental erosion remains a concern for dentists and patients alike. Causing severe and permanent loss of tooth structure, tooth erosion due to acid reflux occurs when acid from stomach contents back up into the esophagus. With a noticeable burn and discomfort in the chest, the contents often move all the way up, essentially splashing into the back of the mouth. Because more than 7 million people suffer from acid reflux disease, patient education and awareness regarding the destruction of tooth enamel from acids is important. Here’s what you should know about Acid Reflux Disease and your Teeth.
Understanding of acid reflux disease and how it affects tooth enamel requires some knowledge of pH levels. For instance, lower pH means greater acidity. Dental enamel begins to break down at a pH of 5.5. Stomach acids have a very low pH of 2.0. Thus, stomach acids are highly acidic, and have the potential to cause severe tooth erosion. Dental professionals notice these effects during regular exams. Teeth may appear thin, sharp, or pitted.
For some, acid reflux is a result of an existing medical condition. For others, acid reflux stems from certain foods, beverages, and personal habits. For instance, spicy, fatty, and fried foods are all linked to acid reflux. In addition, sodas, citrus drinks, and dairy products also contribute to acid reflux.
If You Experience Acid Reflux…
- Do not brush your teeth right away. It’s best to way an hour.
- Rinse your mouth with water (adding baking soda will help neutralize acid).
- Take a sugar-free antacid.
- Avoid eating foods that may cause another episode of acid reflux
- Chew sugarless gum
We Can Reverse Tooth Decay
At Sugar Creek Family Dental, we value comprehensive and preventative dental services for your entire family. If you are suffering from acid reflux disease, Dr. Capati and the team would like to know. We understand the manifestations of acid reflux disease, and how it increases your risk for tooth decay. Together, we can reverse tooth decay and begin to protect your teeth. We look forward to your call today.
Posted on behalf of Sugar Creek Family Dental