Acid reflux is a condition that originates in the stomach, but that doesn’t mean it can’t affect other parts of the body. In fact, acid reflux is one of many whole-body problems that concern your dentist in Silverdale because of the negative way it can impact your oral health. Let’s take a closer look at what acid reflux is, how it affects your teeth, and what you can do to reduce these side effects.
Acid Reflux: 101
Our stomachs naturally produce acids to help break down food and aid in digestion. But when these acids find their way up into the esophagus and into the mouth, there can be quite a few unwanted side effects. First, acid reflux sufferers often complain of a burning sensation in the chest, also known as heartburn. This uncomfortable feeling can be painful and come along with a sour taste in your mouth, excessive burping, or a sore throat. Next, acid reflux can cause damage to teeth, oftentimes without the person ever knowing it.
What Does Acid Reflux Do To Teeth?
There’s a reason why your dentist in Silverdale cautions patients against eating or drinking anything acidic too often. Basically, acid is bad for teeth, and stomach acid is no different. When stomach acid creeps its way up into the mouth, it can easily wear down tooth enamel, also called tooth erosion. Without this protective layer of strong enamel, teeth are put at increased risk for decay, cavities, sensitive teeth, and discoloration. And that’s not all. Once erosion occurs, you can’t get enamel back. Your dentist will need to look at your specific case and find the best way to fix tooth erosion for you. Some treatments may include:
Reduce Your Risk
Thanks to advancements in medications, acid reflux can often be treated with daily medication. However, your dentist and your physician or gastroenterologist may also recommend additional precautions such as:
Using a fluoride toothpaste designed to strengthen enamel
Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol to reduce acid reflux episodes
Avoiding acidic or spicy foods and drinks
Chewing sugar-free gum
Swishing your mouth with water after eating
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day
Waiting an hour to brush your teeth after you eat or drink something acidic
Seeing your dentist in Silverdale every six months to catch any problems early.
Even though we recommend that everyone visits the dentist at least twice a year, it’s even more important for those with acid reflux. Since acid reflux can cause tooth damage without any signs or symptoms, your dentist in Silverdale should keep a close eye on your oral health so any potential problems are caught and treated early.
As of May 19th we are open for full-service, non-urgent dental treatment.
Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.
You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:
You will be notified via text, email or a phone call in regard to your upcoming visit and our new check-in procedures.
Our office will communicate with you to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office. We will also take your forehead temperature when you arrive at our office.
We ask that you please wear a mask covering your nose and mouth when you arrive.
We want to minimize the number of patients in our waiting room and operatories, so unless necessary, please have accompanying people wait in the car during your appointment.
We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at (360)692-9560.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.
Sincerely, Dr. Jason Niemeyer, Dr. Jeffrey Phillips and the rest of the SDC team (360)692-9560