Is heartburn or acid reflux something that impacts your day-to-day life? If so, then there is something that you should know. Acid reflux disease and chronic heartburn can erode your tooth enamel.
What Your Dentist Sees
Even if you don’t realize that you’re experiencing heartburn, the condition can cause irreversible changes to your teeth. The most noticeable signs will be shallow divots (facets) on the cusp tips of your very back teeth, the molars. Although many different things can cause enamel erosion, having eroded cusp tips is almost always due to chronic gastric acid exposure.
Other areas that suffer from enamel erosion can occur along the gumlines or the upper front teeth. However, the cusp tips of the molars are almost always the first ones to pop up.
What to Do
Prevention is the most important step, as chronic acid exposure erodes more than just your teeth. It also damages the soft tissues inside of your digestive tract. Rather than treating the symptoms of heartburn with over the counter medication, it’s best to prevent it from happening in the first place. Your doctor may prescribe a medication that reduces gastric acid reflux, or you may simply need to avoid certain types of foods. You may even want to use a supplemental fluoride each night to make your tooth enamel more resistant to erosion and sensitivity.
Not everyone realizes that they are experiencing heartburn. It may even happen while you sleep. If your dentist spots signs of acid reflux, it’s best to see your doctor right away. Long-term erosion of your teeth can damage the function of your smile, its appearance, and the integrity of restorations that you’ve invested in.
Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
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