Dakota Dental highlights a recent study noted in the Journal of the American Dental Association. Tooth wear and erosion within patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease is significantly greater than in patients who don’t experience chronic acid reflux.
What is Acid Reflux?
While occasional heartburn is pretty commonplace, especially after enjoying a big meal, an estimated 20% of Americans have recurring acid reflux or GERD (American College of Gastroenterology).
Acid reflux means stomach content is flowing back up into your esophagus. Over time, this highly acidic substance can erode tooth enamel (in addition to causing other health complications.) When your tooth enamel is worn down, it exposes the sensitive inner dentin layer of the tooth, impacting your overall physical and dental health.
Dental Symptoms to Watch For
If stomach acid affects your teeth, there will be some telltale signs. Acid reflux tooth erosion can contribute to yellowing teeth or heightened sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages. You may also experience tooth pain or darkening, sharp, thinning, or even shortened teeth.
Have you noticed any of these symptoms recently? Schedule an appointment right away so we can start reversing the damage as best as we can.
How Can I Protect My Teeth From Acid Reflux?
If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux, we strongly encourage you to be proactive about protecting your physical and oral health. There are a few things you can do to protect your teeth from acid reflux:
- Talk to your medical physician for treatments to help control your acid reflux symptoms.
- Use a soft toothbrush and low-abrasion toothpaste. If your tooth enamel is worn down, we don’t want to worsen it.
- Try drinking through a straw, especially if you’re having a highly acidic treat.
- Swish water around your mouth after enjoying a highly acidic meal or drink (think alcohol, coffee, citrus, spicy foods, pasta sauce, etc.)
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day and especially in the morning.
- Try sleeping with your head elevated to reduce any acid that creeps up your esophagus overnight.
- Invest in a custom-fitted night guard to shield teeth while sleeping.
- Get regular fluoride treatments from a trusted dentist to strengthen your teeth.
How to Make Damaged Teeth Look Better
If acid reflux tooth erosion is bothering you, let us help reverse the damage! We routinely perform the following restorative dental procedures:
- Fillings to repair damaged teeth (and insulate them from further issues!)
- Dental crowns and veneers to protect your bite and dental health.
- Cosmetic dentistry to whiten, straighten, and overall boost your confidence.
- Consistent cleanings to maintain your new oral health.
Proudly Serving Southern Suburbs Smiles
At Dakota Dental, we serve the southern Minneapolis and Saint Paul suburbs. Located in Apple Valley, Minnesota, our team provides gentle and comprehensive dental work, including low anxiety dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and even emergency services.
Schedule your next appointment and take back your smile.