Acid reflux disease is a painful, chronic condition that can damage your teeth and the soft tissue of your mouth. The condition causes corrosive stomach acid to travel backwards up your oesophagus, and when it reaches your mouth, it can quickly cause your oral health to deteriorate. Here's an overview of three ways acid reflux disease can impact your dental health:
The protective enamel coating on your teeth is no match for your highly corrosive stomach acid. When the acid strips the enamel off your teeth they can become sensitive to hot and cold foods and gradually become discoloured. More seriously, bacteria can penetrate the surface for your teeth, causing infection in your tooth pulp and weakening the structure of the affected teeth.
Enamel loss increases your risk of tooth decay, but so too does consuming lozenges on a regular basis. Some medication for acid reflux disease comes in lozenge form that you suck, and some patients use non-medicated lozenges to ease their oral discomfort. Lozenges contain high levels of sugar, which is a food source for bacteria. When bacteria feed on sugar, they produce acid as a waste product, which further erodes your teeth.
Reduction In Saliva
A reduction in saliva is a side-effect of some drugs used to manage acid reflux disease. This doesn't sound like a serious problem, but sufficient levels of saliva are required to keep bacteria levels in check. Bacteria thrive in an acidic environment, but saliva creates a hostile alkaline environment in your mouth. When bacteria levels get out of control, you're at an increased risk of developing gum disease due to plaque formation. Plaque forms when bacteria bind with food debris, and when it sticks to your teeth and gum line, plaque can cause inflammation and lead to your gum line receding.
Having regular dental check-ups when you have acid reflux disease is vital for protecting your oral health. Your dentist can spot early signs of enamel loss, decay and gum disease before serious damage occurs to your teeth and gums. They can also work with you to formulate an oral hygiene regime that will reduce the overall acidity of your mouth and recommend protective products. For example, coating your teeth with fluoride gel can protect them from acid erosion and plaque by creating a strong barrier. Adding xylitol, which is a natural product that can reduce bacteria in your mouth, to your daily oral hygiene regime can reduce your susceptibility to plaque formation.
If you're overdue for a check-up or are experiencing any dental pain or discomfort, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.Share
2 September 2015
As you age, it can become harder to take care of your teeth. Motor challenges can make it hard to floss, while memory issues may make it easy to overlook brushing. Whether you are a senior looking for solutions to some of the common dental problems or a senior with specific questions about cavities or oral surgery, you have come to the right place. In this blog, I am going to touch on a range of topics related to seniors and oral health. This is the type of resource I wish my mum would have had access to in her senior years, and I hope you enjoy having access to it during yours. I appreciate you reading my posts.