The health of your smile doesn’t only depend on how frequently you brush and floss. Sometimes seemingly unrelated health issues can lead to dental problems that you might not expect. One such example is the connection between acid reflux and tooth erosion.
What Is Tooth Erosion?
The outermost layer of your teeth, called enamel, serves as an important barrier around the sensitive dentin and nerves underneath. When the enamel gets worn away, your smile becomes more vulnerable to bacteria and acid, which can lead to discoloration, discomfort, infection, and decay.
What Is Acid Reflux?
In the digestive system, food from the mouth and throat travels to the stomach through an organ called the esophagus. Acid reflux, commonly called heartburn, is a condition in which stomach acid backwashes into the esophagus, causing discomfort and irritation. In some cases, the acid can even come up into the throat or mouth. You may find yourself suffering from acid reflux after eating particularly rich or spicy foods, if you lie down after eating, if you are pregnant or overweight, or if you take certain medications.
Can Acid Reflux Cause Tooth Erosion?
If your stomach acid reaches your mouth on a regular basis, it can wear away your tooth enamel, particularly on the inside-facing surfaces of your teeth.
How to Minimize the Effects of Acid Reflux on Your Smile
The best step to prevent tooth erosion from acid reflux is to address the root cause of the condition. You may need to make adjustments to your diet, drink more water, and/or take antacids tablets. If stomach acid reaches your mouth, rinsing with a mixture of baking soda and water can help neutralize damaging acids in the mouth.
Consult with Your Healthcare Team
If you are concerned about how acid reflux is affecting your smile, please schedule an appointment at Southwest Smiles. Dr. Chittajallu can recommend how to protect or repair your smile!