Acid reflux refers to a condition in which the acidic contents of the stomach move up and into the esophagus. Commonly known as heartburn, and often recognizable by the burning sensation it causes in the chest, many people may suffer from this on an occasional basis. But if this symptom becomes severe or chronic, you might have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Constant acid regurgitation will damage your mouth over time, including your teeth. The lingering acid will eat away at your enamel, the outer layer of your teeth. Once gone, enamel cannot regenerate, so this damage will be permanent.
GERD is a common cause of this dental erosion, though not the only risk factor. But understanding this issue can make you better able to spot signs of damage and then seek treatment. Read on to learn more about enamel erosion, which can result from chronic cases of acid reflux.
Symptoms of Dental Erosion
When enamel starts to wear down, this can manifest with visual symptoms. You could see the tooth turn a darker color or become translucent where the enamel has thinned and eroded.
You might also feel tooth sensitivity with enamel loss. This is because, without the protective enamel, nerves in the interior of the tooth become exposed and transmit pain signals to the brain when stimulated by external elements.
However, these symptoms are not always easily noticed until the dental damage grows severe. Visit your dentist on a regular basis so that they can check your smile for early signs of these problems with your teeth. Then they can intervene before further harm accrues.
Treatment Options to Restore Dental Structure
Tooth enamel will not regrow, but your dentist can help you restore weakened teeth following enamel erosion. Dentists can employ tools like dental crowns to serve as replacements for lost enamel. The ceramic cap can cover affected teeth, creating a shield over the tooth to prevent further harm and allow the tooth to function and appear as well as it once did.
However, while a dentist can restore damaged teeth, you can prevent this harm to the look and feel of your smile by seeking treatment for chronic acid reflux. As mentioned, GERD can lead to other health complications, so you should not ignore this disorder.
Talk to a doctor to manage symptoms of GERD. Reduced acid reflux will mean fewer substances in the mouth that can damage your teeth. Your doctor might also suggest lifestyle changes, including adjustments to diet and physical activity, that can resolve discomfort from GERD.
Dental erosion can occur for other reasons as well, including poor oral habits like lapsed oral hygiene or consuming acidic foods and beverages. Practice good at-home dental care and visit your dentist routinely to protect your smile.
Ask your dentist for more advice to keep your smile strong and healthy. Schedule a dentist appointment today in New Philadelphia, OH online or by calling 330.969.6343.