You may know acid reflux by many names, including heartburn or GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). But did you know that it can be detrimental to your oral health? Your Sandy Springs, GA dentist, Proud Smiles Dental, may even notice that you have acid reflux before you do. Here’s how.
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux is a condition where stomach acid moves up to the esophagus. It can cause burping and an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest. It usually happens after eating, particularly after large meals, eating chocolate, or drinking carbonated drinks.
What Does Acid Reflux Do to Teeth?
Since these strong stomach acids are coming up the esophagus, they can sometimes make their way up to the mouth. This leads to the erosion of the enamel on your teeth. In addition, if you take medication for your acid reflux, a common side effect is dry mouth. Dry mouth means less saliva in your mouth. This can raise the chance of enamel erosion and gum disease.
The enamel on your teeth is like a protective layer. It keeps your teeth strong. With thinning enamel, your teeth also look gray and darker, instead of bright white. They can chip more easily because they’re weaker. Because they’re thinner, you may have more sensitivity to eating sweets and things that are cold.
If you notice your teeth being discolored, more sensitive, or have new cracks that weren’t there before, you may have enamel erosion. You can go to a dentist in Sandy Springs, Georgia for either restorative dentistry options or new oral health recommendations.
How Can I Prevent Tooth Damage from Acid Reflux?
Adjusting your oral health care routine can help you prevent damage from acid reflux. Making sure you have enough fluoride in your routine can help make sure your teeth stay as strong as possible. Quitting habits such as drinking a lot of caffeine or alcohol, as well as smoking, can help prevent you from having many acid reflux attacks. If your medicine makes your mouth dry, chewing sugar-free gum helps increase saliva production.
In addition, it’s important for you to go to the doctor if you haven’t. Getting a diagnosis and help with your acid reflux can eliminate the symptoms. You can also visit Proud Smiles Dental for dental checkups to keep an eye on your teeth. We can notice the first signs of tooth enamel erosion so we can stop it before it worsens. Some dentists have told patients to get checked for acid reflux before they knew they could have it.
Your Dentist in Sandy Springs, GA
Proud Smiles Dental is ready to help you both prevent and fix tooth enamel erosion. We’ll take a look in your mouth to assess any damage that’s been done. Call us today or request an appointment online!