Have you ever been surprised during your dental exam, when your dentist or someone else asked if you had acid reflux disease? A lot of people don’t know it, but unmanaged or severe acid reflux can cause irreversible damage to your teeth.
There are very unique symptoms that are present in the mouth when a dental patient has GERD. Typically there will be shallow depressions just on the cusp tips of the molars (back teeth.) The depressions are caused by acidic erosion.
Acid erosion occurs as a result of stomach acids being sent back up into the mouth caused by GERD. If reflux is not present, these acids never make their way back up to the mouth. Unmanaged acid reflux can cause erosion of the enamel throughout the mouth. This causes teeth to be darker yellow, thinner, and washed out.
What can your dentist do to help delay or repair damage to your teeth as a result of acid reflux?
More frequent use of fluoride is important. Fluoride varnish and prescription strength gel can strengthen tooth enamel that is susceptible to erosion and tooth decay.
In areas of severe enamel erosion, full coverage crowns can cover the complete tooth so that no more damage can take place. Crowns are useful for preserving teeth that are no longer structurally able to withstand normal use.
Regular x-rays allow your dentist to check between your teeth (an area not visible during a clinical examination.) This can pinpoint possible problem areas before they become too severe.
Your dentist will always try to help prevent problems or treat them when they’re as small as possible. If you have active reflux disease, it’s important to see your dentist at least every 6 months.
Posted on behalf of Find Local Dentists
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