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Are Antacids Bad News for Your Mouth?

Posted on 12/25/2015 by Janie Bell
An elderly man suffering from acid reflux.If you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux, you probably rely pretty heavily on antacids in order to combat your symptoms.

While these over-the-counter tablets can help to relieve your discomfort, they aren't always good news when it comes to your mouth.

Gum Disease and Tooth Decay

Antacids like TUMS are loaded with sugar, and since many of them are chewable, they can get stuck into the crevices of your teeth. Prolonged exposure can lead to cavities, especially since many people tend to use antacids at night when reflux gets worse. Additionally, antacids can cause dry mouth, and when less saliva is available to wash away debris and food from the teeth, you'll be more likely to experience tooth decay and gum disease.

Weak Teeth

Your stomach needs to maintain a set acidity level in order to digest food properly. If you take antacids too frequently, your body may counteract this by producing even more acid. If you have too much acid, you can experience more heartburn, compelling you to take more antacids and starting a vicious cycle. Additionally, antacids can inhibit calcium absorption, which is essential for strong teeth and bones, so you should be sure to use them sparingly.

Protecting Your Teeth

If you are looking to avoid the damaging effects of antacids, there are a few steps that you can try. After you take antacids, be sure to rinse out your mouth, and if available, try sugar-free varieties. After you eat antacids, wait about 30 minutes and then brush your teeth, as this can help to protect the enamel. Adding sugar free candy or gum to your diet in between meals can also help to keep the teeth clean while minimizing the risk of dry mouth.

If you are experiencing chronic acid reflux or heartburn, a trip to your dentist can be extremely beneficial to see how your teeth have been affected. Contact us today to set up your appointment.
D. Ian Bell, D.D.S.
Advanced Aesthetic, Restorative & Family Dentistry
Bellevue-Redmond Professional Center

15613 Bel-Red Rd, Suite A
Bellevue, WA 98008-2348
(425) 883-8333
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