Can Acid Reflux Damage My Teeth?
After studying the effects of acid reflux on teeth in a “Worn Dentition” course, Dr. Graves is confident that a well-trained family dentist is often better able to detect the warning signs of acid reflux before your regular physician.
Do I Have Acid Reflux?
You’re the picture of health: you eat plenty of nutritious foods, move your body and, of course, brush your teeth morning and night. You even floss (side note from me: keep it up!). And you’ve got a mouth full of straight, white teeth—the kind of smile that truly lights up a room—to show for it. The last thing that’s on your mind is visiting the dentist.
Checkup Today, Smile Tomorrow
You know the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Did you know that your six-month checkups (a.k.a., preventative dentistry) are about much more than just getting your teeth cleaned? During your appointment, your family dentist examines your teeth and gums for the early signs of tooth decay, erosion, periodontal problems, and even risks of oral cancer.
When you visit the dentist on a regular basis, we can help you identify and treat minor issues—the ones that are hard to notice—before they turn into problems that require more extensive (and expensive) dental work.
Oral Health for Overall Health
The state of your mouth gives your dentist clues about your overall health, too. For example, we’re often able to diagnose the early stages of a common digestive disorder called gastroesophageal acid reflux disease (GERD).
GERD causes frequent heartburn and leads to increased acidity in the mouth. At your checkup, your dentist will look for oral signs of GERD, including weakened enamel, tooth erosion and other early indicators of tooth decay.
Some of the most frequent symptoms of GERD include:
- Heartburn or chest pain
- Sinus infections
- Bad breath
- Hoarseness or sore throat
- Dry cough
- Difficulty swallowing or the sensation of a lump in the throat
Caught early, you can protect your tooth enamel from exposure to excess acid and prevent the rapid deterioration that GERD can cause—shielding yourself from a mouth full of cavities!
Protect Your Teeth From Acid
If you suspect you might be suffering from GERD, talk to your physician and your dentist. Your healthcare providers will help you identify strategies that will alleviate symptoms and resolve the uncomfortable side effects of extra acid in your mouth and throat.
Your doctor might prescribe medications or changes in lifestyle to help you minimize your discomfort. You can experiment with your diet, too—maybe certain foods are a trigger for you? Often times, acidic foods like tomato, citrus, coffee, alcohol and hot spices will aggravate GERD. Sometimes, smaller, more frequent meals will help.
Your dentist may suggest dental sealants to help strengthen your tooth enamel, to stop deterioration before it has a chance to turn into cavities.
Preventative Dentistry in Austin, TX
At Cynthia L. Graves, DDS, we welcome all patients in the Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Cedar Park, Leander, Georgetown, Wimberly and surrounding areas to our office! Our goal is simple: early detection and treatment of minor dental issues using state-of-the art equipment and gentle methods. We want you to experience the comfort of good oral health—for life!
Call us today at (512) 258-8001 to book your next checkup and experience the friendly, patient-centered care that we offer in our Austin, TX facility. Here’s to your continued health … and a great smile.