Effects of acid reflux on dental health

Meta Description: Knowing about these risks and taking steps to stop acid reflux-caused oral health issues is crucial if you’re one of the millions who suffer from acid reflux.

Did you know that the state of your digestive system can affect the health of your teeth? When stomach acid is allowed back up the esophagus, acid reflux develops. Although it does not directly harm the heart, it often leads to heartburn because the esophagus lacks the protective stomach lining, which protects the stomach from its own acid. Acid reflux is known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) if it occurs regularly.

Even though GERD and acid reflux can sometimes occur without causing pain, that doesn’t necessarily mean no harm is done. This acid can sometimes enter your mouth, endangering your dental health. It’s important to understand how acid reflux can damage the condition of your teeth and gums if you have it.

What effects does acid reflux have on dental health?

Patients with acid reflux are more likely to suffer from dental erosion and periodontal problems. At a pH of 5.5, tooth enamel begins to dissolve, while stomach acid has a pH no higher than 2. Daily exposure to acid begins to weaken and erode the protective layer of teeth. teeth, making them considerably more vulnerable.

The delicate inner dentin layer of the tooth becomes visible as the enamel wears away, which can lead to other extremely serious health problems for your teeth and mouth. These alterations are often seen for the first time by your dentist. It is essential to remember that just because a person does not have burning symptoms does not mean that they do not have acid reflux.

The enamel on the outside of the teeth can be damaged if it is regularly exposed to stomach acid. In many situations, people are unaware of the damage caused by ebb until the devastation has reached an advanced stage.

If this happens, it can lead to:

Enamel erosion

Acid reflux can lead to major oral health issues due to stomach acid leaking into your esophagus. Enamel erosion is one such problem. The enamel of your teeth protects them from deterioration and injury. Your teeth become more susceptible to decay and damage as the enamel erodes from exposure to stomach acid. This can lead to dental infections, excruciating pain and an increased risk of tooth loss. Significant tooth sensitivity can also result.

Increased risk of cavities

It is easier for bacteria in dental plaque to form cavities when the mouth is generally acidic. Acid production by bacteria allows them to eat through tooth enamel. They consume refined carbohydrates like sugar and produce acid as a byproduct.

Microbes can enter the tooth by gradually wearing down a small plaque of enamel caused by this acid. Weaker enamel makes it easier for germs to function when the mouth is acidic. Cavity-causing bacteria thrive in an acidic mouth.

periodontal disease

Gum health can also be negatively affected by acid reflux. Periodontal disease, often known as gum disease, is more likely to develop when a person is exposed to stomach acids. The disease damages your gums, leading to gum recession and an increased risk of tooth loss. You are at risk of getting infections that spread to other areas of your body if you have periodontal disease.

Dry mouth

Dentists frequently detect symptoms of this problem during routine cleanings and dental exams. Although you may have symptoms like heartburn, dentists may look for indications of acid reflux damage like enamel erosion or gum problems. In order to protect your teeth and gums, it is essential to control this condition as much as possible if you already know that you have it.

How to prevent dental damage

Here are some ideas to protect your teeth from the damage caused by acid reflux:

Chew sugar-free xylitol gum to increase saliva production. Saliva contains minerals that promote tooth surface development and help neutralize acid. Even though chewing gum promotes saliva in all its forms, gum containing xylitol also blocks the chemical reaction between acid and tooth structure, preventing calcium loss.

Avoid brushing your teeth soon after an acid reflux incident. Waiting an hour will give your saliva time to remove the acid and rebuild the minerals in your teeth as the acid softens the tooth enamel.

Instead, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after a reflux attack.

Take an antacid tablet or rinse with an antacid solution to neutralize the acid. Sugar-free antacids work best.

Ask your dentist about fluoride toothpastes, special mouthwashes, or in-office procedures to strengthen your teeth. Toothpastes containing amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) can also help stop erosion.

Use a saliva substitute or chew green tea gum if you have xerostomia (dry mouth), which can improve saliva flow and reduce acidity in the mouth.

Adjusting your lifestyle can also help control bothersome acid burn symptoms. These include eating smaller meals, finishing meals three hours before dinner, avoiding going to bed right after eating, and avoiding alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods and drinks or acids. Your general health will improve if you quit smoking and lose weight, in addition to avoiding acid burn symptoms.

Your doctor may also suggest a prescription or over-the-counter medication to treat GERD or its symptoms. Tell your dentist about all medications you use and any medical conditions you have, especially any you might not initially associate with your dental health.

Conclusion

Maintaining the health of your mouth depends on following your doctor’s advice and taking the medications he or she has recommended for you to manage your acid reflux. In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes, you should also floss once a day to maintain good oral hygiene. Routine dental checkups can also ensure the health of your teeth and mouth. If not, your dentist can help you assess your dental hygiene practices and treat any cavities or tooth damage.