Monday, March 19, 2018

Can Your Acid Reflux Be Damaging Your Teeth?

If you are someone who struggles with acid reflux, especially severe acid reflux, then you are more than aware of the immobilizing effects it can have on your life. From the sleepless nights, to the sick days needed to be taken because you can’t get out of bed, to the inability to freely choose from a menu at a restaurant, to the missed cherished events because an episode left you alone at home wishing you were literally anywhere else. I can say these things because I know your pain. For years I’ve dealt with acid reflux and the inconvenience and pain it can cause. The one thing I didn’t realize it was hurting though, on top of everything else, was my oral health. I’ve always heard that stomach acid can be corrosive on tooth enamel, but given the fact that I wish for death half the time I have bouts of reflux, my last thought is on my teeth. But, nevertheless my enamel was being damaged due to my issues with acid reflux. But, I found hope. Thankfully through an amazing doctor who helped me find the right diet and supplementation, I have been able to better manage my acid reflux. And I want to help you do the same, not for just a better quality of life (which is the most important), but also for your oral health. 

For starters let me give a quick background into how damaging reflux can be on oral health. Essentially when stomach bile rises through your esophagus it literally burns as it goes. Which not only damages the lining, but it corrodes the enamel of the teeth. And the enamel is essential as it is what protects the tooth from decaying. And once enamel is gone, it’s gone forever. Now most of the damage is done at night, because the acid sits in your mouth due to the fact that you are swallowing less and your mouth is producing less saliva. (It’s kind of gross when you think about it.)

So what can you do to protect your oral health? Well the first thing is seek out medical care. GERDs or acid reflux tends to be a symptom of a bigger problem, so don’t let your doctor give you a generic answer. You are your biggest advocate, so you need to make sure that your doctor keeps looking for the right answer. And in the meantime provides you with a prescription or supplementation that will manage the symptoms. 

One of the biggest things you can do yourself to help manage acid reflux is to change your diet. While this may seem hard, in the end, you will thank yourself for having the discipline to make the changes. I promise you, speaking from personal experience, it will change your life. Here are a few things I recommend cutting and never looking back on (maybe only on special occasions. First and foremost pasteurized dairy and gluten. Cliche, but both are highly inflammatory foods that can cause your body to react negatively. Other things to cut include spicy foods, coffee and other caffeinated beverages, artificial sweeteners, food high in sodium, chocolate (sorry), processed sugar, fried goods, alcohol (really really sorry), tomatoes, and carbonated beverages. 

But you not only want to avoid certain foods, but you also want to add in beneficial foods that will help manage your symptoms. These include mostly anti inflammatory foods like kefir, yogurt, bone broth, fermented vegetables, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, cucumbers, wild caught tuna and salmon, raw cow’s milk (yes I said raw), healthy fats, honey, can green leafy veggies. 

It’s not a fix that will happen overnight, but if you stay dedicated and work with your doctor, you can see an improvement in your symptoms that will not only help your oral health, but your quality of life overall. Take it from someone who’s been there and hopes to see you on this side of good health. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Holiday Tooth Tips

It is a wonderful time of the year again.  The weather is getting cooler and the leaves are starting to turn.  The Holiday season has come upon us and that means fun times are ahead.  I love this time of year and spending extra time with family and friends.  Usually, I find myself eating and drinking a bit too much and getting a little unhealthy in the weight area.  But one area that many of us don't think about enough during this time of year is our dental health.  This area gets neglected a bit too much and I am finding that it is time to really start paying attention this year.  With the COVID-19 pandemic, I am more focused on my health than ever and I want to ensure that we are staying healthy as much as we can.  So let me go over a few tips.


Really one of the best things you can do is to make sure you are staying hydrated this Holiday season.  There are so many good reasons for this but many have to do with your dental health.  Rinsing the excess sugar and bacteria out of your mouth is really a great thing.  If you are eating lots of sugary foods, it really is best to help get those off your teeth so they don't start eating away at your enamel.  No one likes cavities and they can certainly be expensive to get filled in.  So by drinking water you can help in that arena.


Another thing that water does for you is to keep you hydrated.  This is a big deal for your dental health because staying hydrated means having good saliva flow.  Saliva is the natural rinsing agent for your mouth.  If you find yourself dehydrated your mouth with get dry and the bacteria is more likely to grow and eat away at you.  This is really important for your health and can be a great way to stay on top of the whole dental issues during the holidays.

Now it should be known that using your teeth for things other than eating is probably a bad idea.  How many people open packages with their teeth? I a whole lot of people do and some people even open corks or cans with them as well.  I can't stress enough how bad of an idea it is to use your teeth as an opener.  What will happen is that your teeth will simply weaken and start to chip away. That is not a great thing and can be very costly especially if you take a big chip out.  No one likes to look a bucktooth due to a silly opening error.


Chose the best drinks for you.  Now for your teeth and when they are concerned light-colored or clear drinks are simply best.  Staining is real and it happens all the time.  If you are drinking extra cups of coffee or red wine during the holidays your teeth with certainly suffer for it. Now, this can be so hard to do and if you can and it is not to bad looking use a straw.  At least it will keep the staining from your mouth.  That is a great way to start and to help keep your nice white teeth white for all those family photos.

Fight that Bad Breath

This year we have all experienced new things.  Most people do in the United States, but this year the vast majority of people experienced what it is like to wear a facemask.  That is because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the scare that took place.  Regulations have been put in place all across the nation and the vast majority of people have to wear a facemask out in public situations.  This has led us to learn a whole lot about ourselves and many of us new things.  We now get to smell our own breath on a daily basis and have it put right back in our face.  The maks really let us know the state of our health and the fact is that around 80 million people actually have chronic bad breath or halitosis.  That is a large percentage of us and many people are simply noticing that their dental health could be better.  So I want to go over just a few tips to help fight bad breath even if they are basic.  Many of us struggle to get the basics turned into a habit so let's get healthy together.

I know, I know, this one is going to be very basic. But the truth is that brushing your teeth daily actually is a big part of the problem.  The fact is that most Americans don't brush their teeth half as much as they tell their dentist.  We all tell our dentist we brush twice a day and he or she will always tell us that twice a day is best.  The ADA is a big proponent of brushing twice a day and that number usually keeps plaque, tartar, and things that cause halitosis from happening.  Now the truth is that Americans usually brush once a day at best.  It is true, the vast majority only brush in the morning or at night.  So if this is you, work on adding in that extra brush. 

Make it a habit.  Habits are usually performed by doing something 30 times in a row.  That means that if you brush in the morning usually, then you should add in a night brush for the next thirty days and make it a priority.  This is so hard to due if you are not used to it.  My take on this is to add an alarm that repeats each night an hour before bedtime.  Then you know that you have the time to brush your teeth and can make a habit of it.  Flip the whole idea around if you are a night brusher and need that morning brush. 


The main cause of bad breath is that nasty bacteria that builds up from food and drinks.  Now, not all bacteria is bad, but the stuff you need to brush and clean out certainly is.  One habit you need to add to your routine is flossing.  Now I will be flat out honest with you, I hate flossing.  I think it is strange and feels not very hygenic.  But I learned that you could use these disposable flossing sticks and that made the whole difference to me.  I added that into my night brush and I was able to floss without touching the nasty floss or touch the inside of my mouth.  The flossing stick was incredible, and most come with a toothpick on the back end for those tough stuck foods.  Try to take these tips and turn them into habits!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Different Types Of Dental Fillings

Your dentist may want to remove the decayed portion of your tooth and fill that empty slot with a material known as a dental filling. Fillings are also used to treat cracks and chips on teeth.

Steps involved in tooth filling

The dentist will start by numbing the area around the tooth that requires filling. He will then use a drill, laser, or air abrasion instrument to remove the decayed portion of the tooth.

After removing the decayed area of the tooth, the dentist will check the area to determine if the decay has been removed completely. Next, he or she will prepare the area for filling by cleaning the debris and bacteria. After filling that slot, he will polish it to make it a part of your tooth.

If you have opted for tooth-colored filling, the dentist will have to add several steps in the process. He will apply filling in layers. A special ‘curing light’ will be used to harden the filling material. After completing the multi-layer process, he will trim off the excess filling material and polish the surface.

Types of filling materials

There are a lot of dental filling options available. These options differ based on the types of material they use. These materials include gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, and tooth-colored filling.

The type of dental filling you will get depends on the extent of tooth decay, cost of filling material, and recommendation by your dentist.

We will now discuss the advantages and disadvantages of dental fillings.

Cast gold fillings


  • Cast gold fillings are durable enough to last 10 to 15 years.
  • These fillings are strong enough to endure pressure during the chewing process.
  • Gold fillings are more aesthetically pleasing than silver amalgams.


  • Gold cast fillings can be highly expensive.
  • You are going to need to visit your dentist at least two times to have these fillings.
  • Having gold cast fillings next to dental amalgam can result in galvanic shock, which refers to pain due to the electric current caused by the interaction between two metals. It doesn't happen quite frequently, though.

Silver amalgam


  • Silver amalgam can last 10 to 15 years.
  • Due to their strength, these fillings can ensure chewing forces.
  • These fillings are less expensive than composite fillings.


  • The color of silver amalgam may be similar to that of the tooth decay sometimes. Generally, the color of amalgam is not aesthetically pleasing.
  • Your dentist may have to remove a significant part of the healthy tooth to make space for dental amalgam.
  • Exposure to hot and cold can result in the dental amalgam to expand or contract, which can increase the risk of cracks and fractures in the tooth.
  • Allergic reactions, although rare, can occur due to dental amalgams.

Tooth-colored fillings


  • The dentist will match the exact shade that of your teeth before placing tooth-colored fillings. These fillings are particularly suitable for the visible teeth.
  • These fillings adhere to the tooth at the micro-mechanical level, which results in a stronger bond.
  • These fillings are also suitable to repair chips and decays.


  • Tooth-colored fillings are not as durable as other types of fillings.
  • Placement of tooth-colored fillings takes some extra time.
  • You may have to pay more than one dental visit to have tooth-colored fillings.
  • These fillings can be expensive.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Make sure you are getting more water for your dental health this year

I am fairly certain that you already know that brushing your teeth two times a day and flossing once per day is generally a healthy dental routine. But what else can you do to keep your dental health top-notch? Believe it or not, along with a New Years' resolution diet, drinking water can play a big part.  Water is what we are mostly made up of and we need to be drinking up to 8 glasses a day to keep our body in tip-top shape.  Most of the time that simply annoys us because we end up in the bathroom all the time, but that is actually how our body is supposed to run.  I am 100% sure that it is also a huge help to other parts of our health and surprisingly that can be our dental health too.  It is incredible what water can do for our teeth and even our breath.  As the mask mandates continue our breath is more important than ever. 

One thing that really impacts your daily life and has to do with drinking more water is that it can help clean your teeth.  By drinking water, you not only hydrate your body but also flood out your mouth so that residue doesn’t eat at your enamel. Water also helps to wash residue away, just like saliva does. So, any food particles that somehow escape your twice-a-day brushing routine (which you should be sticking to!) are taken care of by water washing it away. 

Another benefit that comes with drinking water is that most water has some amount of Fluoride.

We have all heard the rumors about the military tracking our teeth, but Fluoride is known as, “Natures’s cavity fighter”. It’s what resides in almost every kind of toothpaste and is the reason we brush our teeth in the first place. Not only does it wash away food residue, but fluoride is also known to help build up any lost enamel in your teeth. This allows your teeth to stay on top of the constant tug of war with bacteria.

I think one of the absolute best things that water does is that it keeps your mouth hydrated and increases saliva flow.  Believe it or not, saliva is the body's first shield against tooth decay.  Saliva helps wash away unwanted food and covers your teeth with calcium phosphate and fluoride. Because water keeps your mouth hydrated, it allows your salivary glands to work better, so drink a little more of it.  Water helps to fight dry mouth. If your mouth is dry, your teeth risk erosion simply because saliva flow is low, which means your mouth won’t be as healthy and active in killing and washing away harmful bacteria. So fill up your water bottle of choice and get to sipping.

Getting a good water bottle is sometimes the answer to drinking more.  It has to not only be comfortable but it has to fit your work or lifestyle situation.  My family each has a nice water bottle that we take to work and each and everyone is different to fit our styles and also our work.  It is important to make sure it fits in and is comfortable with your lifestyle, so don't be afraid to shop.