One of the biggest threats to oral health is acid reflux. Dr. Lis Bradley regularly treats patients who have lost tooth enamel to this disease but we want to raise awareness of it so patients will know how to recognize and prevent it.
Acid reflux is the result of the sphincter separating the stomach from the esophagus opening and allowing acid up a patient’s digestive tract. In the esophagus, acid causes the painful sensation of heartburn, as well as ulcers. If it reaches as far as the mouth, the upper back teeth will usually be the worst affected. The damage of acid reflux occurs in stages, with the teeth taking on an appearance that is frosted and glazed before developing pits and cracks and losing their cusps.
To prevent acid reflux, patients should reduce their consumption of acidic, alcoholic, and caffeinated beverages, as wells as foods that are high in acid and fat. They should also avoid eating large meals before lying down and try to maintain better posture. Fluoride treatments can help protect teeth from acid reflux, but nothing can regrow lost enamel. However, fillings and partial crowns can be used to restore damaged teeth.
Lis Bradley, DDS, operates at 8112 Isabella Ln, Suite 101, Brentwood, Tennessee. To schedule an appointment, visit LisBradleyDDS.com or call 615-778-0810.