06 Dec Acid Reflux & How It Can Affect Your Teeth
A closer look at this relatively common condition.
Acid reflux is an uncomfortable condition where the stomach acid comes back up, through the esophagus and into the mouth.
Many people suffer with it, commonly after fried, greasy or spicy foods, although each individual will have their specific triggers.
Usually, a gastroenterologist or your GP will help treat the condition, however, your dentist actually forms part of your healthcare team for this specific condition because it can also affect your teeth.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
Lots of things can cause it, including certain medications, your diet, eating habits, weight gain, and certain medical conditions.
What Are The Symptoms Of Acid Reflux?
Common symptoms of acid reflux are:
● Acid coming back up the throat
● Difficulty swallowing
● Chest pain not associated with the heart
● Dental issues
How Does Acid Reflux Affect The Teeth
Dental enamel, the hard outer surface of the teeth, contains something called CHA which doesn’t dissolve with alkaline substances, however, it does become more prone to dissolving with acidic substances. It can start to become damaged at a PH of 5.5 and stomach acid is a PH of 2 (the lower the number the more acidic the substance is). Studies show that the teeth at the back are most prone to damage, which would make sense as they are the first to get contact with the acid as it comes back up the throat.
How Can The Effects Of Acid Reflux Be Avoided?
First and foremost you should be getting a diagnosis and treatment plan from your GP. Following that, you should then let your Egham dentist know about the diagnosis so they can check the effects on your teeth. Your dentist may have already mentioned it to you as we are often the first to identify the signs of acid reflux on the teeth. As well as suggesting or prescribing certain medications, your GP may suggest you:
● Avoid eating at least three hours before you go to bed so that your stomach can empty, and the acid production has slowed.
● Don’t lie down after you have eaten as lying down will only aid the acid making its way back up to the mouth.
● Avoid eating huge meals as this will promote the production of more acid. Smaller meals throughout the day is a good idea.
● Avoid foods known to promote acid reflux such as chocolate, caffeine, greasy or fried foods, citrus fruits or acidic food.
● Avoid alcohol & smoking
● Try to lose some weight as excess weight promotes acid reflux
Come And Speak To Your Egham Dentist About Acid Reflux
If you have been diagnosed with acid reflux, please come and speak to us about it at your next appointment. The sooner we know about the problem, the sooner we can help you reduce or remove the damage the condition will have on your teeth. We form an important part of your health care team when it comes to acid reflux, and we want to help you maintain your health, and general health and oral health are both incredibly important and relate to each other. Need to book an appointment? Please call our friendly team on 01784432641 and we will be more than happy to help.