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Stomach Acid Damages Teeth

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Heartburn. Morning sickness. Vomiting. Stomach acid can ruin your teeth if you’re not careful.

It’s normal to want to get rid of that awful taste in your mouth. Unfortunately, immediately reaching for your toothbrush is one of the last things you should do.

Stomach acid ruins tooth enamel.

Stomach acid, which has a PH of 1 or 2, can destroy your tooth enamel – the hard, outer layer of the tooth. Acid attacks cause your enamel to lose minerals. While enamel can repair itself – it uses minerals in saliva and fluoride – repeated acid attacks weaken and destroy enamel. Eventually, cavities will form.

Tips to neutralize stomach acid.

Make sure you neutralize the stomach acid in your mouth before you brush your teeth. If you brush too soon, you could do more damage to your tooth enamel.

  • Rinse your mouth with a baking soda solution. Just add one teaspoon of baking soda to a glass water, swish and spit. Go ahead and brush about an hour later.
  • If you don’t have any baking soda, at least rinse with water.
  • Use a tongue cleaner to scrape away any acid.
  • Chew sugarless gum with xylitol to get your saliva flowing. Saliva can balance an acidic environment.
  • When you do brush your teeth, use a soft-bristle toothbrush to avoid damaging the enamel.

Consult your doctor for help with an eating disorder.

Millions of Americans struggle with an eating disorder at some point during their lifetime. Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating, can have a devastating effect on your teeth and oral health. Stomach acid can change the color of your teeth, their shape and their length. If you have an eating disorder, talk to your dentist and your health provider for help. Many people recover from eating disorders over time with medical help and support.

Detecting an eating disorder early on can help prevent tooth damage and improve your chances for recovery, according to the National Eating Disorders Association.

Is it time for your dental checkup? Request a dental appointment at Konikoff Dentistry online or by calling 1-800-SMILE-23. Konikoff Dentistry has eight convenient locations with three offices in Chesapeake, one in Suffolk and four in Virginia Beach.

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