Acid Reflux and Your Oral Health
Is acid reflux ruining your smile? The uncomfortable and damaging effects of an acid reflux condition can extend beyond your chest and throat. This condition involves the frequent travel of stomach acid back up into your esophagus. If this highly acid fluid reaches your mouth on a regular basis, your dental health can be compromised.
Tooth enamel is a thin, yet extremely hard layer of protection on your teeth. Your mouth’s saliva helps to maintain a natural and proper pH balance so that this layer doesn’t erode and your teeth are able to properly rebuild minerals. However, stomach acid from acid reflux can overpower the beneficial properties of saliva and eventually weaken your tooth enamel. Over a period of time, acid reflux can cause enamel erosion, which leaves your teeth vulnerable to multiple dental complications, including the following:
• Mouth irritation or pain
• Tooth sensitivity
• Darkening and discoloration of your teeth
• Shortened or thinning teeth
The best way to protect your smile is to treat or manage your acid reflux. However, it can also help to drink plenty of water throughout the day and chew sugarless gum to promote healthy saliva production. Your dentist may suggest fluoride treatments or other preventative dental services to keep your teeth protected from an acidic environment. If acid reflux has already damaged your teeth, Gilreath Dental Associated offers a wide variety of restorative solutions such as crowns, bonding and veneers to repair the health and integrity of your teeth. Although the heartburn associated with acid reflux is likely your most disruptive symptom, don’t forget about its damaging effects on your pearly whites. If you suffer from acid reflux, always let your dentist know at your routine checkup.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates