We see many causes of aching teeth and gum disease at Southern Cross Dental. Some of them are due to smoking or bad hygiene, but diet, medications, and lifestyle can also be a contributing factor. This is particularly the case with people suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD or acid reflux.
Hydrochloric acid is necessary for the breakdown of foods, but people are in for a lot of discomfort if it leaves the stomach. Unfortunately, the sphincter separating the stomach from the esophagus sometimes fails, allowing acid to back up into the throat and mouth. Some ways of preventing this from happening are to avoid slouching and to cut back on acidic foods and drinks such as garlic, onions, citrus juice, tomatoes, and alcohol. Smoking and caffeine are also known to contribute to acid reflux.
Acid reflux not only corrodes the teeth and gums, it also damages the salivary glands. Without enough saliva, the mouth will dry out, putting it at risk of infection and making sleeping much more difficult. Chewing sugarless gum is one easy way to stimulate new saliva production. People who have suffered acid reflux for a long time may also require a fluoride treatment in our office to restore the minerals to their enamel.
Drs. Navid and Faranak Rahimpour operate Southern Cross Dental at 1855 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80905-2516. To schedule an appointment, call 719-471-1717 or visit SouthernCrossFamilyDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.