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
Reflux disease can give you heartburn, but it can also have an impact on your smile. A lot of people don’t realize that managing their acid reflux isn’t just about being free of discomfort; it also prevents severe damage to your esophagus as well as your teeth. Enamel damage caused by acid is irreversible, and can make teeth weak, thin, and appear discolored. Enamel is the hardest material in your entire body, so the effects of acid reflux are something that shouldn’t be ignored.
Even small amounts of acid exposure can begin to etch and erode away enamel. Long-term exposures to acid create large portions of enamel that won’t come back. One of the first areas that acid erosion is evident is on the cusp tips of the molars. Shallow divots on the cusps will begin forming. Over the course of time, teeth can become sensitive as well. Patients may not even be aware that they have acid reflux, because they aren’t suffering from regular heartburn. However, untreated reflux disease is nothing that you should ignore!
Professional fluoride treatment can help restore important minerals inside of enamel, strengthening it and helping it repel acid erosion. Daily fluoride treatments are also important, as teeth are more prone to decay, breakage, and sensitivity. Regular dental check-ups will also ensure that your dentist can identify areas of concern before they become too significant. Waiting until a tooth is visibly damaged before you see a dentist is too late.
Always let your dental team know about any changes or updates in your health history. Health conditions and medications affect your smile in more ways than you might have thought. Your dentist will provide preventive therapies that keep you smiling and cavity free!
Posted of the behalf of Justin Scott
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