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Family DentistIf you have acid reflux, visiting a family dentist can help to keep your teeth safe. There is a distinct connection between acid and the health of your teeth. The more acid that touches your teeth, the greater your risk of erosion and tooth sensitivity.   Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How common is it to have acid reflux?
According to a 2008 report by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, sixty percent of adults, suffer from the symptoms of acid reflux at least once per year.  This leaves millions of people suffering from the condition.

What does acid have to do with my teeth?
Acid will attack your teeth and start to wear away a layer at a time until your teeth become weak and thin. As a family dentist, we recommend that patients take steps to fight acid reflux and to avoid eating acidic foods. 

How can I reduce my reflux?
You can take a prescription to help decrease your acid levels.  You can help by watching what you eat and eliminating foods that are high in fat, spicy, or acidic.  This can make your condition worst and eating acidic foods can further damage your teeth?

Does my body fight acid?
Yes, your saliva contains calcium and phosphate which can combat the effects of acid by neutralizing it.  It is important to note, however, that there is only a small amount of calcium in the saliva, so this doesn’t work well on acid reflux but is fine for the occasional orange. 

What can I do to limit the damage?
If you have an acid attack, rinse with baking soda to further neutralize the acid.  If you don’t have any, rinse with water.  Wait to brush your teeth for an hour after the attack.  During that time, you can drink milk and chew an antacid which will help you feel better as well. 

How are my teeth impacted?
As the acid wears away the enamel on your teeth, dentin and your nerve endings will become exposed.  This can lead to sensitivity and even pain when you eat or drink.  If your teeth are eroded even further, you may experience bone loss and teeth that are too weak to remain untreated. 

What are my treatment options?
If you have bone loss, we will use a crown to protect your tooth from further damage. You can select either a ceramic or silver amalgam crown.  Both work well to keep everything off of your natural tooth and to prevent any additional erosion.  In the early stages, we may be able to treat your teeth with a bonding procedure to reduce any sensitivity that you feel. 

If you have acid reflux, you should visit the family dentist to have your teeth cleaned at least twice a year.  This is important for keeping your teeth clean and healthy.  It also allows us to look for signs of erosion and treat the teeth quickly, if any is identified.