We are pleased to offer a full range of dental care services in Meriden CT 06450. Our dental services include: children's, cosmetic, general, family, implant and sedation dentistry.
Friday, 6 December 2019
Erosion: Stomach Upset and Your Teeth
Did you know your digestive health can affect your teeth?
Frequent stomach upset can cause a gradual wearing away of the protective enamel on your teeth, a process known as tooth erosion. This can affect the appearance of your teeth and open the door for harmful bacteria that cause cavities.
How Do Stomach Problems Affect My Teeth?
Your stomach produces natural acids that help your body digest food. Sometimes, these acids travel up the throat and into the mouth, especially after a large meal. Ordinarily, our saliva rebalances the acid levels in our mouth and everything’s fine.
But for those who suffer fromgastroesophageal reflux, also known as acid reflux or GERD, gastric acids reach the mouth throughout the day. This process is especially damaging when you’re asleep, since you are swallowing less often and your mouth is producing less saliva.
Another concern is the dry mouthcaused by many acid reflux medicines. Saliva not only helps neutralize the acids caused by acid reflux, but also helps to wash away food particles and reduce bacteria that attack tooth enamel. This is why lower saliva production may increase your risk for cavities.
What Does Reflux-Related Erosion Do to My Teeth?
Acid reflux can wear away the enamel on the inside surfaces of your teeth, as well as the chewing surfaces. Your dentist may notice this during an exam.
Unfortunately, tooth erosion is permanent. If your enamel has started to wear away, you may:
Feel pain or sensitivitywhen consuming hot, cold or sweet drinks
Once erosion occurs, you may need fillings,crowns, a root canalor even tooth removal. Veneersmay be an option to restore the look of your smile.
How to Protect Your Teeth – And Get Relief
Chewing sugar-free gum can encourage saliva production, which helps neutralize and wash away the acids in your mouth. Look for one with theADA Seal of Acceptance.
Prescription or over-the-counter fluoride and desensitizing toothpastes may help strengthen tooth enamel.
Avoiding alcohol and smoking and refraining from eating 3 hours before bedtime may reduce the frequency of acid reflux episodes.
If heartburn, acid reflux or other stomach problems are part of your daily life, work with your physician on a care plan to treat the underlying causes of your stomach troubles.
If you suffer from acid reflux, see your dentist regularly so they can make sure your teeth stay healthy, recommend ways to prevent tooth enamel erosion and suggest ways to get relief if you are also suffering from dry mouth.