Negative Effects of Acid Reflux on Your Teeth
If you regularly feel uncomfortable after a large meal, experience heartburn, or a lingering acidic or bitter taste, you might have acid reflux disease. Do not mistakenly assume this is trivial. Acid reflux can have lifelong, adverse effects on your teeth, causing difficulty chewing, jaw or tooth pain, and even potential infections.
Each day your teeth battle against sugars and food remnants left over after eating. These begin to break down the protective layer around your teeth called the enamel. However, with regular use of fluoride-infused mouthwash and toothpaste, and monitored consumption of sodas and sugar-filled treats, the effects of dental erosion will not be permanent. Unfortunately acid reflux disease compounds the problem.
What is acid reflux disease?
When you eat and swallow, the food and drink travels through your esophagus and into your stomach. Where they meet, your esophagus muscle normally prevents food from coming back up. However, sometimes this muscle begins to weaken and food remnants mixed with stomach acids can travel back up the esophagus and into your mouth. These acids will linger, contaminating the saliva that normally circulates and damaging your teeth.
The Negative Effects of Acid Reflux
The stomach acids will wear away your tooth enamel. If not stopped, the damage will continue into the inner dentin layer and the tooth’s root causing sensitivity to foods and drinks, pain, and even potential infection. If left untreated, it will also wear away your teeth, discoloring and darkening them. It can even leave them ragged and uneven.
Treatment for Acid Reflux Disease
A few things can be done at home to address the problem. Avoiding fried and fatty foods more likely to cause acid reflux is a good idea, also carbonated drinks, caffeine, and acidic juices and fruits. We also recommend drinking plenty of water and chewing sugarless gum to help clean your mouth and increase saliva production.
Although some things can be done on your own, it is always a good idea to see your doctor and dentist when determining the cause of an ailment. They will assess whether further damage has been done that requires their attention and treatment.
If you live in the Cambridge area and would like an individual consultation with one of Fresh Pond Dental’s professional dentists, please contact our dentist’s office today.