Preventive dental care usually focuses on oral hygiene, but tooth decay isn’t the only threat to tooth structure. At Elite Dental Arts in Midtown, we want our patients to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and diet that will protect their teeth from acid reflux.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) refers to chronic, recurring acid reflux. Commonly but inaccurately known as heartburn, acid reflux happens when the sphincter separating the stomach from the esophagus opens at the wrong time. Stomach acid travels upward, burning the esophagus as it goes, and it sometimes gets as far as the oral cavity. When that happens, it erodes enamel, beginning with the inward-facing sides of the upper back teeth. As enamel loses minerals, it takes on a chalky appearance and the teeth become more sensitive.
Acid reflux can have many causes, but there are steps patients can take to prevent it. Those include not smoking, avoiding large meals before lying down, and avoiding large quantities of food such as red meat, spices, citric juice, tomatoes, garlic, and onions, as well as avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Patients should also take care that they eat in an upright posture and that they drink plenty of fluids, since adequate saliva production is one of the body’s best defenses against acid reflux.
Nick M. Mobilia, DDS
ELITE DENTAL ARTS
9 East 45th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10017