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Acid Reflux: Protect your teeth

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acid-reflux

If you’ve ever had acid reflux, you know it can be a terrible experience.  Not only does it damage your esophagus and stomach lining, but it can also damage your teeth. Acid reflux occurs when some of the acidic stomach contents go back up into the esophagus, creating a burning pain in the lower chest area, often after eating. If your acid reflux is severe enough, it can even cause erosion in your teeth.

Stomach acid is at a PH level of 2.0, and teeth can dissolve if the PH level is 5.5.  This can lead to severe oral damage such as erosion of teeth in the future if eating habits are not changed. 

Ways to prevent acid reflux are:

  • Avoid eating acidic foods and foods that can cause acid reflux. (ex. Tomatoes, citric fruits, spicy & fried foods, fatty meats, dairy, chocolate and caffeine)
  • Consume lots of water and vegetables
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat smaller portions
  • Avoid laying down for 3 hours after eating a meal
  • Elevate your head while lying down
  • Avoid smoking
  • Cut back on alcohol consumption
  • Wear loose fitting clothes
  • Try a gluten-free diet
  • Medications

If you are diagnosed with acid inducing erosion, the following will help minimize the effects:

  • Continue to avoid foods that cause acidic reflux(as stated above)
  • Avoid brushing teeth for 60 minutes after acid reflux episodes
  • Rinse mouth with water after an occurrence
  • Take a sugar-free antacid and let it dissolve in your mouth
  • Chew sugar free gum, lozenges or candies
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