How Can Acid Reflux Affect My Teeth?
May 18th, 2022
Most people experience heartburn and discomfort associated with acid reflux every now and then. But if that becomes a regular occurrence, your oral health may be at risk. Here’s all you need to know about acid reflux and its devastating effects on your pearly whites.
Acid Reflux: An Overview
The stomach produces acids to break down and digest the foods you eat. Acid reflux occurs when these acids work their way up into the esophagus. The result is a burning, painful sensation in the chest. Patients may also experience excessive burping, bad breath, an acidic taste in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, and tooth sensitivity.
If a patient experiences frequent acid reflux episodes, the condition is called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Unfortunately, constant exposure to stomach acids can cause extensive damage to your oral health.
How Can Acid Reflux Affect Your Oral Health?
Just like with acidic foods and beverages, constant exposure to stomach acids can erode or wear your tooth enamel, leaving you with yellow, pitted, and sensitive teeth. With repeated exposure, stomach acids can cause extensive, irreversible damage to your teeth. Moreover, the acids can irritate your gums, leading to gum disease, the primary cause of tooth loss in adults.
Acid reflux is not only harmful to your oral health. It can be devastating to your overall health. Unlike the stomach, which has a lining that protects it from its acids, the esophagus has no protection. Acid reflux can damage it, leading to extreme pain and difficulty swallowing.
How Can You Keep Your Teeth Protected?
Talk to your primary care physician or gastroenterologist about treatment options for GERD. There are many medications available that will alleviate your condition and protect your oral and overall health.
Aside from preventing acid reflux, there are some things you can do to minimize the damage to your smile.
- Limit fatty treats or foods you know trigger your heartburn
- Swish your mouth with water after eating
- Avoid acidic foods and beverages
- Wait an hour to brush your teeth after eating or drinking something acidic
- Never lay down after a meal
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Brush your teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste
When Should You Seek Professional Dental Care?
Everyone needs regular dental visits every six months, but that’s especially important for patients suffering from acid reflux. Our team at Avalon Dental Care will keep a close eye on your oral health to treat any problems as they arise.
If your tooth enamel has suffered extensive damage due to acid erosion, we may recommend dental bonding or dental crowns to reduce your tooth sensitivity and prevent any further damage to your tooth enamel. In some severe cases, we may recommend root canal therapy to save the tooth and alleviate the discomfort associated with tooth sensitivity.
Quality Dental Care in El Segundo and Lomita
Contact Avalon Dental Care to learn more about safeguarding your smile from the effects of acid reflux. Our team is here to provide you with outstanding care and service to keep your smile healthy for years to come. Call us and schedule your appointment today!