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!