Q1. Can GERD cause tooth decay?
GERD, or acid reflux disease, is very common among Americans today.
The reflux of acid from the stomach back up into the esophagus can ultimately make its way to the mouth. Because this acid is the 1 last update 07 Jul 2020 in constant intimate contact with the teeth, it can demineralize or remove layers from them.The reflux of acid from the stomach back up into the esophagus can ultimately make its way to the mouth. Because this acid is in constant intimate contact with the teeth, it can demineralize or remove layers from them.
In general, the enamel on the lingual, or the tongue and palate surfaces of the tooth, is affected rather than the outer or cheek side of the enamel of the tooth. It is also true that patients with GERD experience dry mouth, which intensifies dental bacteria and plaque and can lead to an increase in cavities and decay.
Medications that GERD patients take can also dry out the mouth, which contributes to stronger dental plaque. A number of patients say that sucking on breath mints, candies, or lozenges soothes burning in the mouth. Sucking on lozenges can also stimulate saliva production, which helps to fight dry mouth.
Beware of mints or sucking candies that contain sugar, as they can also contribute to increased decay.
The following are some dental for 1 last update 07 Jul 2020 problems that can occur from acid reflux or its treatment:The following are some dental problems that can occur from acid reflux or its treatment:
- Loss of tooth enamel due to stomach acids that bathe the teeth regularly.
- Dental decay due to dry mouth conditions or sucking on candies or mints that are sweetened with sugar.
- Dry mouth conditions, which can strengthen and intensify dental bacteria, making them more virulent in promoting tooth decay.
One's diet often has an effect on GERD. Excessive ingestion of wine, spicy foods, coffee that may have added sugar, and other food sources can all contribute. Patients who develop acid reflux may already be ingesting many of these products, which can lead to increased tooth decay as well. My advice is to consult a physician or gastroenterologist who has experience with acid reflux and its treatment.
Gerd Without Heartburn Treatment Heartburn (🔴 11 Foods That Help) | Gerd Without Heartburn Treatment 10 Foodshow to Gerd Without Heartburn Treatment for Q2. I am 65 years old with an abscessed tooth that I cannot afford to have repaired at this time (it requires a $3,000 bridge). Will this have any effect on my general health?
— Lynn, California
Gerd Without Heartburn Treatment Heartburn Naturally (☑ 7 Foods That Cause) | Gerd Without Heartburn Treatment Causeshow to Gerd Without Heartburn Treatment for An abscessed tooth is often caused by a cavity that eats its way into the center of the tooth where the nerve is. The nerve then dies and the cells inside the nerve tissue release their contents. This causes a backup of gases internally and the collection of what we call "pus," or purulent exudate, in the tooth. Since there is no space between the hard bone and the hard tooth, great pain usually develops, although not always. A person with this condition needs to see the 1 last update 07 Jul 2020 a root-canal specialist or a general dentist who provides root-canal therapy to clean out the canal inside the tooth and restore the tooth's health. Another type of abscessed tooth can be caused by a periodontal infection. This happens when bacteria that are around the outside of the tooth destroy the bone, creating a pocket that recedes deeper and deeper under the gum and bone to the apex of the tooth. Periodontal treatment or extraction is required for this type of abscessed tooth.An abscessed tooth is often caused by a cavity that eats its way into the center of the tooth where the nerve is. The nerve then dies and the cells inside the nerve tissue release their contents. This causes a backup of gases internally and the collection of what we call "pus," or purulent exudate, in the tooth. Since there is no space between the hard bone and the hard tooth, great pain usually develops, although not always. A person with this condition needs to see a root-canal specialist or a general dentist who provides root-canal therapy to clean out the canal inside the tooth and restore the tooth's health. Another type of abscessed tooth can be caused by a periodontal infection. This happens when bacteria that are around the outside of the tooth destroy the bone, creating a pocket that recedes deeper and deeper under the gum and bone to the apex of the tooth. Periodontal treatment or extraction is required for this type of abscessed tooth.
I do not know what is causing the inflammation in your case, but inflammation, as we all know, is bad for the body as a whole. It is critical that you see an excellent dentist who can give you a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. The diagnosis would likely be a root-canal problem (which would need root-canal treatment), a fracture of the tooth (which would mean it needs to be removed), or a periodontal abscess (in which case the dentist would need to decide whether the tooth is worth saving). If the tooth can be saved, then it would be ideal to go through with one of the above treatments. If the tooth is not able to be saved, then it must be extracted as soon as possible because the infection and bacteria entering your bloodstream from around your tooth will affect the rest of your body, including the brain and heart. Because this seems to be a financial issue, since you mentioned the $3,000 bridge, then my best suggestion is to get an antibiotic prescribed by your dentist and have the tooth removed or fixed at minimal cost: This might even mean seeing someone at a local hospital or a dental school, where dental care is often offered far less expensively than in a private dentist's office. I would much prefer the tooth either be removed or treated than to have you walk around with an infection in your mouth that will eventually lead to other parts of your body.
Q3. I am going through chemotherapy for breast cancer, and my mouth is very sensitive. I find that regular toothpaste is very irritating. I have been using baking soda to brush my teeth. Is there a toothpaste I could use that has no mint or other irritating substances? I have tried several different toothpastes, but they all have a burning, irritating feeling. Thank you for your help.
I am sorry about your situation. Tooth sensitivity is extremely common in America and usually occurs because of exposure of the root portion of the teeth. Ideally, enamel (the hardest material in your body) covers the portion of your teeth above the gum tissue. However, when gum recession occurs, the root portion gets exposed and sensitivity develops — the root has many dentinal tubules (small channels) with tiny nerve endings that connect to the nerve pulp.
Sensitivity can come from:
- Too much root exposure, which allows the nerve endings to react to temperature (both cold and hot) and sweets
- Brushing too hard with a hard-bristle brush or poor technique, with too much scrubbing action
- Sensitivity from tooth-whitening procedures
- Tooth grinding and clenching, often from stress, in which enamel can be worn away, exposing nerve endings
- Too much exposure to acidic foods such as citrus fruits can cause wearing away (demineralization) of the enamel
- Poor oral hygiene, with plaque buildup and subsequent demineralization of the tooth structure from plaque acid
In your situation, I advise continued excellent oral hygiene so that plaque doesn't build up and make the sensitivity worse. Try to use toothpastes with no tartar control, whitening agents, or peroxide in them. Opt for gels instead of pastes, and use a toothbrush that has extra-soft bristles. Use toothpaste and mouth rinse that contain fluoride, which helps to remineralize the root surface and block sensitivity. Sensodyne and other sensitivity toothpastes are worth trying, as well as toothpastes made by Tom's of Maine, which can be found in most supermarkets and health food stores. If these steps don't work, consult your dentist and physician, who can further evaluate your problem.
Q4. Does decay always begin in or on a tooth and go down into the root? Or is it possible for decay to start below the gum line and not be found with either X-rays or thorough scaling and examination?
Decay can begin on the top surface of a tooth, beside a tooth, or underneath the gum, mid-root on a tooth. It can most often be seen on X-rays but not always. Decay that starts at the top of a tooth usually has to be probed and explored with a sharp instrument to see if the hole or decay has gone through the enamel into the tooth itself. If it has advanced from the top surface, then sometimes the X-ray will show the decay. Often, decay on a root or in between teeth is obvious on an X-ray. If decay is on the side of the tooth — the outer or inner (tongue) side — then it may not show up on the X-ray as well. There are also times when scaling and root planing can reveal a cavity that would not otherwise be seen on an X-ray or during a routine dental examination.
It is always good policy to see a quality dentist and hygienist who can do bitewing X-rays to check for cavities every year and full-mouth X-rays every two to three years. The X-ray examination is only one part of the picture — the rest is clinical observation, patient reports of sensitivity or pain, and clinical examination by probing and scaling the mouth and evaluating every tooth for surfaces of decay.
Learn more in the Everyday Health Dental Health Center.