The Yuba City Dentistry Group may know you have acid reflux or GERD before you do. Do you wake up every now and then with a painful and burning sensation in your chest or a bad taste in your mouth? Then you may have heartburn caused by acid reflux. When these symptoms persist over long periods of time and that happen more than once or twice a week, it’s likely you have GERD. What is GERD and just how does your dentist diagnose it?
GERD is caused by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus, sometimes making it to the mouth and leaving a bad taste and acid that damages teeth. Left untreated, stomach acid eats away at tooth enamel, accelerates tooth decay, and increases the chances of esophageal cancer. What can you do to treat and minimize the bad effects of GERD or the occasional symptoms of acid indigestion?
Protect Against Acid Reflux
Major tooth enamel loss is permanent and acid reflux hurts, so use the following tips to protect your oral health:
- Use toothpastes and mouthwashes with fluoride to remineralize your teeth.
- After an acid reflux episode, do not brush right away. Rinse your mouth out with water first to get rid of any remaining acid, then wait at least twenty to thirty minutes before gently brushing to protect weakened tooth enamel.
- Minimize eating and drinking acidic foods and beverages, both to limit acid reflux and to protect your teeth.
- Minimize portion sizes so it’s easier for your stomach to digest your food.
- Limit alcohol intake and do not drink right before going to bed. Lying flat after eating and drinking increases the chances of having acid reflux.
- Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
Following these tips helps you to manage annoying heartburn before it contributes to tooth decay and tooth loss. Getting a regular oral exam from your Yuba City dentist may even prevent problems before you know it! Make an appointment today with the Yuba City Dentistry Group to maintain your oral health!