Acid reflux is a common condition affecting people of all ages. It’s a distressing condition and can result in severe medical conditions if left untreated. For many, the symptoms go unnoticed until they become apparent. Nonetheless, severe acid reflux can lead to dental erosion and tooth decay, necessitating professional dental care.
Acid reflux& Dental erosion- What’s the connection?
Severe cases of acid reflux can cause dental erosion leading to tooth decay. How does this happen? When the stomach acids eat away your enamel, you begin having issues with your teeth. Severe acid reflux mainly affects the incisors and can also cause sinusitis.
If you don’t seek prompt dental care, the decay will cause rotting. It can possibly lead to other dental issues and can be as serious as a tooth extraction or root canal treatment. It’s then critical to visit your dentist often. The professional will examine your teeth and clean them to prevent further harm by the acids. If you don’t seek prompt medical attention, the acids will wear away your enamel, leading to further dental complications.
Let’s try to understanding acid reflux, its causes and symptoms:
Acid reflux happens when the upper part of your stomach moves above the diaphragm. The diaphragm plays the role of keeping acids in your stomach, but if it moves up to your esophagus, it results in symptoms of acid reflux.
The risk factors for acid efflux disease are;
- Lying down after heavy meals
- Foods like- tomatoes, citrus, garlic, onions, and spicy food
- Medications-Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and blood pressure medications.
The disease exhibits various symptoms, and many are often worse after eating. Heartburn is very common and may be accompanied by bloating. It’s a burning sensation that may move up to your abdomen or throat. It causes a lot of discomforts and is sometimes accompanied by regurgitation. Other symptoms include;
- Bloody stool
- Weight loss
- Dry cough, wheezing, and hoarseness.
How will tooth erosion from acid reflux affect my teeth?
Acid reflux also known as acid reflux, GERD, GORD or heartburn will wear out tooth enamel and chewing surfaces. If your enamel starts to wear out, you’ll feel pain or sensitivity when drinking hot or cold drinks. You’ll also have yellowish discolored teeth and will have a higher risk of developing cavities over time. In extreme cases, you may experience tooth loss or require tooth removal.
How can I protect my teeth?
Saliva helps neutralize and clean away acid from your mouth. Chew sugarless gum to encourage saliva production. Also, avoid alcoholic e beverages and smoking. Eating before bedtime isn’t right either! Eat early and avoid dinner before going to bed. If you suffer from recurrent stomach ailments, work with your doctor to resolve the underlying issue.
Acid reflux can affect your teeth in myriad ways. If this happens to you, contact your dentist promptly, and get your teeth examined. The dentist will clean your teeth and suggest the best remedies for healthier teeth and gums.