3. November 2011 19:48
With increasing frequency, we are seeing more people who either have acid reflux, or don't know they have acid reflux but have acid wear on their teeth that says they do!
If you have acid reflux and are on medication for it, chances are that your teeth will have minimal damage. However, if you think you might have acid reflux, typical symptoms might include a burning sensation in your chest, esophagus, throat, or back of the mouth, an acidic or bad taste, coughing, pain that increases lying down, regurgitation, bad breath, and belching. Some things that can trigger an acid attack are stress, coffee, sodas, alcohol, fatty or spicy foods, overindulgence, citrus, tomatoes, onion, or laying down soon after eating.
If you aren't sure if you have acid reflux, your dentist and hygienist are trained to recognize acid wear on your teeth. We often see acid wear on the back sides of the upper front teeth, and in more severe cases, we also see pitting in the cusps of the lower molars. In extreme cases, we occasionally see flattening of the teeth if the effects of the acid wear have been exaggerated by clenching and grinding. A high acid level in the mouth also leads to a higher rate of tooth decay, as bacteria love acidic environments. We can help you identify if there is a problem, and can direct you to have a visit with your physician for testing and/or antacid medication. We can make suggestions in the mean time to reduce your risk of further enamel damage. Our goal is to preserve your enamel as long as possible for strong, healthy teeth!
28. December 2010 00:41
One of the biggest complaints our patients have about their teeth is that they are "sensitive." Here is a briefing on what types of sensitivity can mean different things, and how to help combat the problem.
The most common is COLD sensitivity. This can mean that your enamel is thin, or that you have recession (where the gum drops down from around the tooth exposing the root), or you may even have open margins in your existing restorations (meaning, that perhaps your existing fillings/crown need to be replaced due to a gap between the filling/crown and the tooth itself). If your sensitivity to cold happens on almost every tooth, you can try using sensitivity toothpastes and extra fluoride to strengthen your enamel. If your sensitivity can be pinpointed to one tooth in particular, speak with us about your concerns and we will be happy to try and help you find a remedy for the problem area.
If you have HOT sensitivity, see us immediately. Hot sensitivity usually means one of two things: trauma, such as grinding your teeth, or an infected tooth (abscess). We need to rule out that your hot sensitivity is not an abcess as soon as possible. Abscesses can lead to infection in other parts of your body, so it is best to see us sooner than later. If you are griding your teeth, we can preauthorize a comfortable, custom-fit night guard for you to wear. It will relieve the pressures of grinding to make your sensitivity disappear.
If you have SWEET sensitivity, it's almost a sure bet you have a cavity, BUT, it can also be caused from recession. Recession exposes the roots of the teeth which do not have enamel on them, and the sweet sensitivity will be right at the gumline. We recommend extra fluoride applied directly to the recession. In any other case, it is probably a cavity. You will only feel the sweet sensitivity when the cavity is medium to large in size, so if you are experiencing this, please call us as soon as possible. If you wait, there is a chance the tooth may become infected if the cavity becomes too large.