Enjoying Better Dental Checkups

3 Strategies to Lower Risk for Acid-Related Oral Problems

If you are contemplating cosmetic dental services to improve your smile, there are a few things that you will need to consider prior to your appointment date. This is especially true if you are affected by acid reflux disease. Stomach acid can negatively affect your gingival tissue and teeth, however, there are some strategies that you can employ to prevent it from damaging your oral cavity. Here are three things you can do to help prevent acid reflux from damaging your cosmetic dental work:

Elevate the Head of Your Bed

If you suffer from acid reflux disease, you may notice that your symptoms are worse at bedtime. When you lie flat, acid can be released from your stomach, and by way of gravity, can migrate up into your esophagus and throat. The stomach acid can reach the inside of your mouth, and if it makes contact with your teeth and gums, can cause gingivitis and enamel erosion.

If left untreated, acid reflux can damage your dental cosmetic restorations and surrounding tissue. To reduce this risk, sleep with the head of your bed elevated so that acid stays down. If sleeping this way is too uncomfortable for you, try sleeping on your left side, as right-sided sleeping may aggravate acid reflux and heartburn. 

Stay Hydrated

Stomach acid is extremely irritating, however, if you dilute it by drinking plenty of water, damage to your teeth and gums is less likely to develop. While other beverages can also help dilute stomach acid, they may actually trigger an acid reflux episode.

Coffee, colas, tea, and fruit juices are aggravating to the upper gastrointestinal tract and they promote the production of stomach acid. In addition, these beverages also have the potential to cause enamel erosion. If the enamel on your teeth loses its integrity, you may be more susceptible to cavities, as well as infection of the nerve root and tooth pulp. In addition to diluting stomach acid, drinking water can also help wash away gingivitis-causing microorganisms from inside your mouth. 

Chew Gum

Chewing sugarless gum can also help prevent acid reflux symptoms, thereby lowering your risk for acid-related tooth and gum damage. If, however, you have extensive cosmetic dental restorations, read the labels on gum packages before purchasing.

Some chewing gums are made specifically for those who have bridges, dentures, crowns, or veneers. These gum products are less likely to stick to your dental work, and are considered safe for both natural teeth and restorations. 

If you have acid reflux disease, work with both your dentist and primary care physician to develop a plan of care that will reduce your symptoms while protecting your teeth and gums. You will enjoy your cosmetic dental work more when you start with a healthy mouth, and it will be easier for your dentist to perform his or her professional services when your teeth and gums are in optimal shape. To learn more, contact clinics like Alliance Family Dental.