Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

Tooth decay and acid reflux

October 7, 2010 by  
Filed under News & Information

It has become more and more common for me to see patients with decay in there teeth but they have good oral hygiene and even floss. As I question them more about their oral habits, we eventually come to the treatment of their acid reflux. The stomach acid is hydrochloric acid and is very corrosive. The vapor is just and corrosive when it is mixed in with your saliva. So when the acid reflux occurs, the saliva does dilute it but the acid is still harmful. There are medications available for the reflux problem, but a lot of insurances do not cover them, so the patient is left with the over-the -counter medications. These are not as good in treating the reflux as the prescription drugs are. So if you are in  this situation what can you do? Whether you can afford to pay out of pocket for the prescription druf or not, you have to eliminate the intake of acids ( soda pop, etc.). You need to drink only water and / or iced tea. Gatoraide can have sugar and ,if you teeth are already etched but the acids, will help cause decay. Usinb a floride mouth rinse will help by adding flouride to the etched enamel and slowing the rate of decay. If left unchecked , the rflux may well cause you to lose all or most of your teeth . The expense will be enormous as compared to taking the higher road. If your insurance does not cover the medications, call the insurance company and express your concern. I would also talk to my employer about their selection of that plan. Often they are HMO or PPO plans. These are chosen due to the premium not for the level of care they provide. The main thing above all else is stepping up your recall dental appointments to every 3-4 months. Your dentist  can help a lot by seeing problems arise before it is to late. While I am not a big flouride proponent, in the case of acid reflux it is very helpful but not the final fix. The prescription medications and frequent dental hygiene visits are the best fix unless the cuase of the acid refux can be determined and treated.