Acid reflux, heartburn and GERD are common health concerns affecting many of our patients for a variety of reasons. Treatment with antacids, diet and lifestyle changes can often successfully address symptoms, but many patients don’t realize that in addition to affecting physical health, these conditions can also detrimentally affect oral health.
Woodbridge dentist Dr. Cavallo looks for the signs of tooth enamel erosion during routine dental care visits, a common side effect of acid reflux and related disorders. The acid that is being forced back up into the esophagus also makes its way onto the surfaces of the teeth and gums. This causes erosion of the tooth enamel which can compromise the strength of the tooth, leaving it vulnerable to decay and damage.
Tooth enamel erosion can also be caused by certain medications which lead to a condition called “dry mouth”. A reduced production of saliva can also allow harmful acids and bacteria to remain on surfaces in the mouth and affect oral health.
Treating Tooth Enamel Erosion
Although tooth enamel does not “grow back”, there are oral hygiene and treatment options that can prevent future damage and possible tooth loss. Dr. Cavallo will assess the health of your teeth before recommending any dentistry or additional at home care. In many cases, rinsing the mouth with water and chewing sugar free gum after a meal can reduce the presence of acids and harmful bacteria.
If you have teeth that have become damaged or decayed as a result of enamel erosion, Dr. Cavallo will recommend appropriate treatment to restore dental health: dental fillings, tooth bonding, and dental crowns are all options.
Comprehensive Dentistry in Woodbridge, VA
Understanding how overall health can affect your oral health is important for keeping your smile functional for as long as possible. At our Woodbridge dentist office, prevention is the foundation of our practice. Dr. Cavallo is a highly trained dentist who takes an individualized, comprehensive approach to each patient’s oral health. He takes the time to educate them on how best to address any concerns they may have and how to achieve their goals for a beautiful, lasting smile.