Acid Erosion and its Effects on the Oral Cavity – Part Four

Posted on by Dr. Axelrad

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Our last blog on the subject of ‘Acid Erosion and its Effects on the Oral Cavity’ was posted on November 22nd, 2016. It may be helpful to reread this blog as this next one is a continuation.

In this blog, we will complete our discussion on this topic. We will look at solutions on how to protect the soft tissues i.e. mouth and esophagus, and the teeth themselves from the deleterious effects of stomach and dietary acids.

As previously mentioned, tooth erosion can be caused by both stomach and dietary acids.
Erosion is also caused by bulimia and alcoholism. This occurs in the same way as above. Stomach acids (vomit), enter the oral cavity and lowers the pH, which increases erosion.

Recommendations to protect the mouth and esophagus
– Remove pop from diet (too acidic).
– Try to stop night time eating after 7:00 p.m or four hours before going to sleep.
– Try to have three meals and two snacks per day i.e. don’t introduce food into the oral cavity more often than this. In addition, try to avoid fatty and acidic foods.
– Sleep with your head elevated (at least 6”). Gravity will be in your favour.
– After meals go for a walk…this will help to digest your food.
– Try to figure out which foods are causing your gastrointestinal symptoms. Work with a nutritionist or a naturopath. You need to eliminate problem foods.

Solutions and suggestions to prevent erosion of the teeth
– Use toothpaste with baking soda and fluoride. It’s best to use your finger and rub it on your teeth and then spit out…avoid rinsing out with water as this will wash away what you have just placed on your teeth. Repeat this a few times a day. With regards to your toothbrush, make sure it has soft bristles and brush gently….Otherwise, this may increase enamel loss.
– Eroded tooth surfaces are softer than non-eroded ones. They are therefore more prone to tooth decay. To avoid chronic tooth decay, rinse with mouthwash or use fluoride daily.
– Avoid acidic/sugary foods. If you do drink something acidic, rinse with water or fluoride to neutralize the acid.
– See your dentist regularly i.e. x rays, check-ups, etc.
– A night guard may help to prevent further wear of teeth.
– Drink water frequently during the day.
– Chew sugarless gum to stimulate salivary flow.
– If drinking something acidic, it may help to drink through a straw to avoid contact with the teeth. However, it may be best to reduce consumption of acidic foods and beverages. Low-pH foods will hasten the demineralization process and prolong the opportunity for remineralization.
– Use a fluoride containing toothpaste, to encourage remineralization of the teeth.

Consider the following:
– The type of food and drinks you are consuming.
– How susceptible you are to erosion…Some people are more prone than others.
– Times of consumption.
– Oral hygiene routine and practices.

Treatment of Acid reflux
In addition to the methods mentioned above i.e. proper nutrition, there is also medication to help deal with acid reflux. These are Proton Pump Inhibitors or PPI’s. They act to decrease the amount of acid secreted in the stomach. This in turn helps to decrease the symptoms of GERD, but not the progression of it. Keep in mind though, studies have shown that PPI’s increase the risk of heart attacks, esophageal cancers and dementia, so treatment of them should not be long term.

Conclusion
Another oral health series completed. From this series we learnt that both acid reflux and dietary acids can have an unfavourable effect on the teeth and soft tissues (esophagus and oral cavity). However, as seen in this blog, there are solutions and remedies which can be put forth to deal with these issues.

Be health conscious everyone!

Dr. Robert Axelrad, Brampton Dentist

For any dental questions or concerns, please give us a call today @ 905.791.3867…you’ll be glad you did!

Based in Brampton, Ontario, Brampton Dentist Dr. Robert Axelrad has been practicing gentle and pain-free dentistry for over two decades. During this time, he has helped to improve the dental health of countless satisfied patients in Peel Region, Brampton and beyond!

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