Foul Taste in Your Mouth? You Might Have Overactive Stomach Acid

If you regularly experience a foul taste in your mouth, even after using an oral rinse, you might have too much acid in your stomach. Although stomach acid, or gastric acid, benefits your digestive system and body in many ways, the acid may not be so good for your oral health. Gastric acids are strong enough to break down minerals, food, and even bacteria, viruses, and other types of germs. However, stomach acid can also break down your tooth enamel and irritate the soft tissues of your mouth and throat. Here's why you might have overactive stomach acid, why it's a problem, and how a dentist can help protect your oral health from it.

Why Does Gastric Acid become Overactive?

If you tend to eat or drink acidic foods and beverages, such as fried meat, orange juice, and coffee, you may be inadvertently upsetting the acid in your stomach. One of the problems with overactive stomach acid is that may increase your risk for heartburn, indigestion, and other digestive system conditions. For example, heartburn develops when the acid in your stomach backflows into your esophagus. Sometimes the esophagus relaxes too much when you eat too much or experience an illness or some other problem. If you experience heartburn too often, the acids may eventually wreak havoc on your oral health.

Some people take antacids to calm down their overactive gastric acids. But for other individuals, even antacids may not work, especially when they lie down. In this case, the acids tend to flow upward against gravity. It's possible to burp or belch up the acid during sleep. As the acid enters the mouth, it coats the surfaces of the throat, teeth, and tongue. If this happens to you every night or when you take naps, you may wake up with a foul taste in your mouth. 

How Dangerous Is Gastric Acid for Your Oral Health?

The unpleasant taste you experience in your mouth may be a result of food particles coming up with the overactive acid in your stomach. Some foods, such as garlic and onions, may contribute to the bad taste and smell in your mouth. But the taste in your mouth isn't the only thing you may worry about. The stomach acids may damage your tooth enamel.

Although tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, it can break down or corrode from acid, which may expose the nerves inside your teeth. You might notice changes in your tooth enamel when you eat or drink hot and cold items. For instance, you may feel a sharp pain when you sip hot tea or eat cold fruit. The sensitivity may stay localized in the affected teeth, or it may spread throughout your face and jaws.

You may also develop canker sores, or ulcers,in your mouth from the acid. Canker sores and other types of sores can be painful when you eat or speak. The sores may develop anywhere on your soft tissues, including your gums and inner cheeks. You might develop sores in your throat that keep you from swallowing liquids and food.

You should understand that it may be difficult to rebuild your tooth enamel once you lose it to acid. Enamel contains various minerals that keep it strong and hard, including calcium and vitamin D. If you don't see a dentist for care and treat your overactive stomach acid, you may not have a chance to strengthen your enamel or protect the rest of your mouth.

What Can a Dentist Can Do to Help?

A dentist may refer you to a regular doctor for treatment of your overactive stomach acid. The treatment may including recommending diet changes and prescribing medications that alleviate or reduce gastric acid content. The medications are generally stronger than OTC antacids. 

A dentist may also prescribe minerals and vitamin supplements that rebuild tooth enamel, as well as offer treatments that protect your teeth from acid erosion. The treatments may include veneers and crowns. A dentist will generally discuss the best treatments for your case when they examine your mouth.

For more details about acid and your teeth, contact a dental office today, like TLC Dental Center.