Are Antacids Damaging Your Teeth?

Dentist Blog

If you get a lot of acid indigestion, then you may take antacids regularly. These medicines can keep your indigestion at bay and, as an added bonus, they help keep acid out of your mouth and away from your teeth where it can cause erosion damage.

However, when you mention to your dentist that you take a lot of antacids, they may not be that happy. They may ask you to modify your antacid intake. Why?

How Antacids Affect Teeth and Gums

Antacids can have a few negative effects on your dental health. While occasional antacid use isn't generally a problem, regular antacid users may notice that these medicines are affecting their teeth or gums.

For example, some antacids contain sugar. Each tablet may not contain a very significant amount of sugar; however, if you're eating a lot of antacids, then your sugar intake ramps up. Also, if you eat chalky antacid tablets, then some of the tablets stick in crevices in and around your teeth.

While these antacid particles will eventually wash away or be brushed off, they could put sugar into direct contact with your teeth for a while. Too much sugar in the mouth increases your chances of getting tooth decay.

In some cases, antacids also dry up your saliva production for a while, giving you a dry mouth. You can't afford to lose saliva on a regular basis. Saliva works like a natural mouthwash — it washes away stuff that might cause decay and infections.

If your antacid use reduces saliva, you lose some of these benefits. Your teeth are more like to be hit by decay, and you increase the chances that you'll get some form of gum disease.

How to Minimise Antacid Damage

Your dentist may not ask you to stop using antacids completely; however, they may recommend that you also see your GP if you're using antacids a lot and your acid problems aren't subsiding. They may also recommend ways to prevent antacids from affecting your mouth if you need to keep taking them regularly.

For example, switching to antacids that don't contain sugar and using chewable or liquid medications helps keep sugar out of the mouth and off your teeth. Rinsing your mouth out with water after taking an antacid also helps clear the mouth.

A water rinse may also alleviate some of your dryness if this is a problem. Water keeps your mouth moist and keeps your saliva going.


2 January 2019

Unraveling Dental Myths about Children: A Blog for Parents

When I had my first child, I was a nervous wreck. Every book I read gave different advice, and I just wanted to be right! By the time I had my third child, some of the stress had abated. I now realised, there were tons of different perspectives on everything related to raising children including dentistry. To help parents, I have created this blog dedicated to unraveling dental myths about children. I am including posts that weigh both sides of issues such as thumb sucking, dental caries, breastfeeding, flossing and any other topic I can think of. I hope you find the information you need to unravel dental myths, but most importantly, I hope you find some peace of mind. With kids and dentistry, there can be more than one right answer, and I want you to be able to relax and go with the answer that's right for you.