Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease and GERD, is a major contributor to caries and enamel loss, so we want Dr. Dipika Shah’s patients to be aware of and know how to stop it.
The hydrochloric acid in the stomach is highly acidic to your teeth. Usually, it is kept away from your mouth by a sphincter, but when that fails, the acid can painfully make its way into the mouth. Not only will it cause toothaches, it also discolors teeth as they lose so much enamel their dentin layer shows through. Acid reflux also contributes to gum inflammation.
Patients can reduce acid reflux by eliminating foods high in fat from their diets. They should also reduce their intake of acidic foods and drinks such as alcohol, tomatoes, garlic, citrus food and avoid large meals before bed. Chocolate and caffeine also contribute to acid reflux. Fluoride treatments can be used to strengthen enamel. Once it has been lost, enamel cannot grow back, but it can be replaced with fillings and bonding.
Dr. Dipika Shah, Master in the Academy of General Dentistry, practices at 723 N Beers St, Suite 2F, Holmdel, New Jersey, 07733-1512. To schedule an appointment, call 732-264-8180 or visit DentistNJ.com and fill out a contact form.