Dental Problems Caused by Acid Reflux By Bruce Wilderman on September 07, 2015

A woman undergoing a dental examArtistic Expressions Dentistry is one of the leading dental care centers in the Philadelphia area, and patients have come to expect excellent preventative and restorative care. This includes state-of-the-art restorative dentistry to address tooth and gum problems.

A number of general health issues can result in dental problems of various kinds. For instance, issues with acid reflux can lead to problems with the health of your smile. Let's consider these matters in more detail right now.

About Acid Reflux

Also known as heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux occurs when stomach acid winds up in a patient's esophagus.

To understand why this happens, let's consider the digestive tract briefly. First of all, there is a small valve controlled by a ring of muscle where the stomach and lower part of the esophagus meets. This is known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When the LES fails to close completely, this allows stomach acid to escape the stomach, resulting in a burning sensation in the chest.

Common Causes of Acid Reflux

The most common causes of acid reflux include the following:

  • Eating large meals
  • Lying down after eating
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Spicy, sugary, or fatty foods
  • Use of muscle relaxer drugs

Combinations of the above can lead to an increased chance of acid reflux occurring.

Acid Reflux Can Cause Tooth Erosion

Tooth erosion is a condition that is also known as acid erosion and dental erosion. These conditions occur when the pH within the mouth is acidic rather than balanced or alkali. This causes the enamel of a tooth to become thin or weak, making it more likely to be worn off of a tooth.

This is a separate issue from tooth decay, which is caused by oral bacteria, yet the problems associated with tooth erosion are just as serious.

The Dangers of Tooth Erosion

When the enamel on a tooth wears away, a tooth is made much weaker. Chips, cracks, and breaks are more likely. In addition, teeth affected by erosion are more likely to appear yellow or dingy in color as the underlying dentin layer is revealed.

From a health perspective and in terms of aesthetic, it's important that tooth erosion be avoided or, if it occurs, treated as soon as possible.

Ways to Prevent Acid Reflux

The best ways to prevent acid reflux are to eat smaller meals and to note any triggers for acid reflux in your diet that should be avoided. For instance, if you notice heartburn after having spicy foods, consider avoiding those kinds of items in your diet.

In addition to these dietary matters, it's a good idea to quit smoking and to maintain a healthy diet, as both of these will help promote total wellness.

Treatment Options for Tooth Erosion

Treating tooth erosion will typically involve the use of dental restorations, which will rebuild damaged tooth structure and improve the overall strength and wellness of the teeth. The best kind of dental restoration for your situation will be determined during the consultation process.

Learn More About Your Dental Care Options

For more information about your options for advanced dental care, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Artistic Expressions Dentistry will work with you to ensure your smile is both healthy and beautiful.

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Artistic Expressions Dentistry

Dr. Bruce Wilderman has been providing comprehensive cosmetic dentistry services since 1986. By combining a true sense of artistry with state-of-the-art technology, he can provide stunning results. At Artistic Expressions Dentistry, we are proud to be affiliated with:

  • The American Dental Association
  • The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

For more information about our services, contact our practice online or call (215) 340-1199 today.

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