The Unexpected Cause Of Tooth Decay And How To Prevent It
You didn’t eat sugary food, you washed your teeth and went to sleep, but despite everything you are doing your teeth still are decaying. One of the most common cause of tooth decay is GERD also known as gastric acid reflux.
The effect of gastric acid reflux has a negative impact on the esophagus and the digestion, but your teeth are also affected by this condition.
Why GERD Has A Negative Effect On Your Teeth
Gastric acid reflux occurs due to weakening of the esophagus muscles. Namely, if gastric juices are able to cross the circular muscle that closes the stomach (a gastric-sphincter), there will be series of unpleasant symptoms, and people usually complain of heartburn. This sphincter opens in healthy people only when food from the esophagus has to pass through the stomach and then it closes immediately. In GERD, the contents of the stomach penetrate the esophagus.
The gastric acid has a pH of 2.0, and if it reaches the oral cavity, will definitely affect the tooth enamel which has pH of 5.5 that is relatively neutral in pH scale.
Pain in the mouth, sensitive teeth, yellowing teeth, sharp tooth edges are some of the signs of possible erosion of the teeth caused by gastric acid reflux.
How To Prevent Teeth Damage From Gastric Acid Reflux
- Avoid coffee, alcohol and carbonated and sugary drinks
- Quit smoking
- Eat more frequent, smaller meals so that the stomach always has food in it and keeps acid where it belongs
- To stimulate the secretion of saliva, hold a toothpick in your mouth. The saliva is a natural tooth protection
- Avoid whiteners because they damage the tooth enamel
- Drink plenty of water
- If you are overweight, try to lose weight because it will reduce the acid reflux
- Keep your head a little bit higher when you are sleeping
- Use antacids, but do not cross the recommended dose
- Increase the food intake that has a probiotic culture in it, this includes yogurt, kefir, fermented vegetables etc.
- Make a tea out of sage, ginger, dandelion, or fennel and use it as a natural mouthwash.