How Acid Reflux Disease Has an Effect on Teeth

By Heather Broeker

How Acid Reflux Disease Has an Effect on Teeth

The stomach acid from acid reflux disease can cause erosion of tooth enamel and overall dental health.

By Heather Broeker

OverviewEveryone talks about the effects of Acid Reflux Disease on digestion and other parts of the anatomy, but few people regard the teeth in the list of things affected by the acid. The truth is, the teeth can be very affected by acid reflux, and they are not something one should ignore.What is Acid RefluxAcid reflux is when the esophagus muscle starts to weaken and allows stomach acid to rise out of its home in the stomach, burning its way slowly up the esophagus. It can be characterized with persistent heartburn, vomiting or a lingering bitter taste in your mouth.Tooth ErosionThe teeth have a natural pH level of 5.5, which is relatively neutral in the pH scale. The acid in your stomach ranges around 2.0, which is much more acidic and can start to eat away at your tooth enamel.Symptoms of Tooth ErosionThere are a few warning signs that your teeth are being eroded. These include, but are not limited to, pain in the mouth, sensitive teeth, darkening teeth, sharp edges on your teeth and more.PreventionAvoid highly acidic beverages, such as coffee or carbonated beverages. Try to avoid alcohol. Don’t smoke, or stop if you already do. Eat smaller meals more frequently to always keep some kind of substance in your stomach to keep the stomach acid where it belongs. Keep something in your mouth, like a toothpick to keep your saliva flowing through your mouth. Saliva is your body’s natural defense against tooth decay. However, avoid teeth whiteners because they strip your enamel.TreatmentDrink a lot of water, the “24 gallons for 24 hours” rule will definitely help you here. If you are overweight, try to lose some weight. Adjust your sleeping arrangement so your head is at least 6 inches above your feet. Antacids are OK, but use them sparingly.ResourcesreferenceSoft Dental

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