Tooth erosion and acid reflux may seem like two very different health issues, but here we’re going to explain how they are actually closely related.
What Is Tooth Erosion?
Tooth erosion is when the enamel, the hard, protective layer on the surface of your teeth, wears away. The more vulnerable, softer layers such as dentin are then exposed, which makes your teeth more susceptible to bacteria and acid which can lead to oral health issues such as tooth decay. Some symptoms of tooth erosion include tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking hot, cold, and sweet things, rounded teeth, small cracks at the edges of teeth, yellowing teeth, small dents on the chewing surface, and some slight transparency near the edges of your front teeth. Tooth erosion is caused by acids wearing away at your enamel.
What Is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux is a digestive disease that involves stomach acid moving into the esophagus. Many know the main symptom of acid reflux as heartburn, where you feel a burning sensation in your chest. Another symptom is regurgitation which is bitter tasting acids that comes up in the back of the mouth or throat. Sometimes acid reflux is occasional and based on what you ate, but other times it is more chronic and could be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Foods to be avoided if you have acid reflux include fried and fatty foods, spicy foods, raw onions, citrus, chocolate, tomatoes, mint, coffee, carbonated drinks, garlic, and tea.
How Are Tooth Erosion & Acid Reflux Related?
You may see where we’re going here, but the acid in acid reflux could be the reason why someone is experiencing tooth erosion. When you have acid reflux or GERD, stomach acids go up into the esophagus and sometimes even the mouth. If the acid comes up into your mouth, it can wear away at the enamel on the inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth. If acid reflux or GERD is not treated, the acids can continue to wear away at the enamel until they reach the dentin. If this happens, tooth decay, periodontal disease, and even tooth loss could become a real possibility.
How Can You Stop Tooth Erosion Due to Acid Reflux?
If your doctor and dentist confirm that your tooth erosion is due to acid reflux there are a few things you can do. Your doctor can prescribe you medicine to manage your acid reflux and you’ll need to consider a diet that avoids those foods mentioned above. You should also see your dentist regularly so that they can keep track of any signs of further erosion.
If you think your acid reflux is causing tooth erosion, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.Contact Us