Frequent stomach upset can cause gradual erosion of the protective enamel on your teeth. This is a process known as tooth erosion. It can affect the whiteness of your teeth and open the possibility for harmful bacteria which can cause cavities.
How Do Stomach Problems Affect Your Teeth?
Your stomach produces some natural acids which help your body digest food. Sometimes, such acids go up to the throat on the mouth, especially after a big meal. Usually, our saliva which rebalances the acid levels in our mouth area.
But for those who suffer from acid reflux or GERD, these gastric acids reach the mouth all day long. This process especially causes the most damage when you’re asleep, as you are swallowing no food and your mouth is producing less saliva.
Another concern is that of dry mouth caused due to many acid reflux medicines. Saliva does not only help to neutralize the acids caused due to acid reflux, but also helps to cleanse away food particles to reduce the bacteria which attack the tooth enamel. This is why your lower saliva production might increase your risk for cavities.
What Does Reflux-Related Erosion Do to My Teeth?
Acid reflux can erode away the enamel on the interior surfaces of your teeth, and also the chewing surfaces. Your dentist may notice this during an exam.
Unfortunately, this tooth erosion is permanent. In case your enamel has started to wear away, you may consider these symptoms:
- Feel pain or sensitivity when eating or drinking hot, cold or sweet drinks
- Notice yellowish discoloration of the teeth
- Find your fillings have changed
- Face greater risks for cavities
- Develop abscess
- Experience tooth loss
So, How do You Protect Your Teeth?
- Chewing sugar-free gum may encourage saliva production, this also helps neutralize and wash away the acids from your mouth.
- Prescription or over-the-counter fluoride with a desensitizing toothpaste may help strengthen tooth enamel.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking and refrain from eating 3 hours before bedtime as this may reduce the frequency of acid reflux and tooth erosions.
- In the case of heartburn, acid reflux or other stomach problems, you can consult your physician on a care plan to treat the causes of your stomach troubles.
- If you suffer from acid reflux, you can also see your dentist regularly so that they can make sure that your teeth stay healthy, and recommend ways to prevent tooth enamel erosion.
We hope this article has provided you the required information to get started. If you are looking for more information or want to book an appointment, don’t hesitate to call us!