Is Acid Reflux Compromising Your Dental Health?

Acid reflux is a frequent issue that affects millions of Americans. Commonly known as “heartburn,” it’s estimated that around 20-30% of Americans have symptoms of acid reflux at least once a week.

While mild, infrequent cases are inconsequential, chronic and intense bouts can be seriously harmful to your health, and your teeth.

Take a look at how acid reflux affects your oral health, familiarize yourself with the symptoms and causes, and let’s examine common treatment options.

How Does Acid Reflux Affect Oral Health?

Acid reflux causes stomach acids to travel back up into the esophagus. In severe cases of the condition, these acids can reach the mouth, and can cause serious damage to your teeth.

Stomach acid is extremely corrosive, and overtime, continued exposure can cause tooth decay and infection. Treatments, like dental crowns and root canals, may be necessary with a case of chronic acid reflux. Gum damage is also common due to the sensitivity of oral tissue, so specialized gum care may be required in acute cases.

Common Causes and Symptoms of Acid Reflux

Acid reflux has many causes. In some cases, multiple factors contribute to the issue. Some of these sources include:

  • Stomach abnormalities like hiatal hernias
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Eating large meals, or lying down directly after a meal
  • Eating spicy, acidic or fatty foods 
  • Smoking and alcohol use
  • Excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages
  • Taking muscle relaxers or NSAIDs like aspirin or ibuprofen

The symptoms of acid reflux can also be quite diverse, but common symptoms include:

  • Stomach pain and discomfort
  • Sour or bitter-tasting acid in the mouth
  • Bloating
  • Bloody or black stool
  • Excessive burping
  • Nausea
  • Wheezing or chronic sore throat
  • Dysphagia (throat contractions which can cause sensations of stuck food)

If you have one or more of these symptoms, you likely have serious acid reflux. You should take the necessary steps to treat it and prevent damage to your mouth and esophagus.

How Can Acid Reflux Be Treated?

Acid reflux can be treated in many ways, but lifestyle changes are usually recommended first. These steps typically include changes in diet, ceasing alcohol and tobacco use, and losing weight.

Antacids can help neutralize stomach acid, though mainly for acute cases of the condition. Other pharmaceutical treatments include medications that reduce stomach acid production.

Don’t Let Acid Reflux Compromise Your Oral Health!

If you have acid reflux, it may be affecting your oral health. Come to Magnolia Dental in Greenville today, and ask Dr. Zebro to give you an evaluation of your oral health. With her expert recommendations, Dr. Zebro can craft a custom-built plan to minimize the effects of acid reflux, ensuring that you live a healthy, pain-free life. 

Call us today for an appointment at 864-242-2848, schedule an appointment online, or visit our office in Greenville, SC, located at 119 West Antrim Dr., Greenville, SC, 29607. 

We look forward to seeing you!

Why are your Gums Receding?

Gum recession can be a very worrisome problem.  Many people experience varying levels of gum recession during their lives.  As our gums recess the root structure of the tooth is exposed making the tooth more prone to temperature sensitivity, cavities and bone loss.  With this being said, we want to make sure we do what we can do prevent gum recession.  The best way to do this is to first look at what caused recession in the first place.

Causes of Recession:

1. Brushing your teeth to aggressively can cause the gums to recede.  

2. A habit of clenching or grinding your teeth can cause gum recession along with other serious issues.  If you are waking up with frequent headaches, sore teeth or have a spouse/partner who is telling you they hear you grinding your teeth, contact Magnolia Dental at (864) 242-2848 to be evaluated.

3. Poor home care habits - If plaque and tartar are left on the gums and teeth for an extended period of time, you may be at risk for developing periodontal disease.  This oral disease causes bone loss around the teeth.  The teeth will become loose if periodontal disease is not treated and will eventually lead to tooth loss.  Due to the fact that gums follow the position of the bone around the teeth the gums will recede.  They will also lose their attachment to the teeth due to inflammation caused by the plaque and tartar.

4. Genetics can be a factor.  There are different types of gums.  Some are thinner than others.  Thin gum types are more prone to recession that the thicker ones.  

5. Trauma to the teeth can result in gum recession.

6. Misalignment of teeth - If teeth have crowding or displacement gum tissue can recede. 

Treatments of Recession:

It is very important to brush you teeth gently with a soft or super soft bristle toothbrush at least twice a day.  Do not scrub your teeth but instead give your gums a gentle massage.  Harder brushing does not equal cleaner teeth.  In fact, if you have an electric toothbrush, you only want to slowly guide the brush around your mouth  (no back and forth motion) and let the brush do the work for you.  New advancements in electric toothbrushes have now included indicators to let you know if you are brushing too hard.  Flossing and/or the use of a Waterpik is recommended daily to remove plaque from between the teeth aiding in the prevention of cavities and periodontal disease.

It is very important to visit your dentist for regular cleanings and check ups.  If clenching and/or grinding is detected an occlusal guard may be prescribed. If misalignment (crooked or crowded) teeth are diagnosed braces can be a great option for correction. In mild to moderate stages of periodontal disease a deep cleaning may be performed. 

In more severe cases of recession, the dentist will work with a periodontist (gum specialist) to correct the problem with surgery.

If you are noticing gum recession in your mouth please contact Magnolia Dental at (864) 242-2848 to consult with the dentist.


Love your coffee? Learn what coffee really does to your teeth!

It’s estimated that the average American consumes 2.7 cups of coffee per day. And it begs the question... what does coffee do to your teeth?

Dr. Zebro of Magnolia Dental in Greenville, South Carolina shares some insights about coffee, teeth, and how cosmetic dentistry can help restore your gorgeous smile!

Stains, stains, go away!  

Much like wine, coffee is chock-full of tannins. These are the molecules that are responsible for staining. A good rule of thumb – if it can stain your clothes, it can certainly stain your teeth. So when drinking coffee, consider using a straw. As silly as it seems, this helps tasty (and necessary) beverages bypass your teeth.  

Also, make sure that you brush your teeth after your morning cup of joe. Not only will this help you avoid the dreaded “coffee breath”, it will remove the tannins that are sitting on your teeth, and help prevent stains.

It’s feeling acidic in here…

Coffee is slightly acidic, and regular coffee consumption can change the pH of your mouth, contributing to a more acidic environment. These acids can damage the enamel of your teeth, and contribute to tooth decay.

To mitigate these effects, avoid sipping coffee all day long. Instead, have your morning cup in one sitting, and brush afterward. This minimizes the time that acids can build up in your mouth, and contributes to a healthier smile!

Watch the sweets.

35% of coffee drinkers in the US drink black coffee. But the majority of us load up on creamer, milk, and sugar to avoid the bitter flavor of most coffee blends. As tasty as these additions may be, they can be quite harmful to your teeth. Refined sugar is one of the greatest contributors to oral bacteria. And drinking sugary coffee can contribute to gum disease, plaque buildup, and tooth decay.

We recommend avoiding cream and sugar altogether. At the very least, try to reduce your overall consumption of refined sugars to help mitigate tooth decay. You’ll find that you crave the additives less if you don’t use them as often.

Call the pros.   

Are you a die-hard coffee drinker? Has your six-cups-a-day habit given you stained teeth? Don’t worry! Almost all cosmetic surface stains can be removed with teeth whitening services from Magnolia Dental!

At our gorgeous, spa-like facility, our team can treat your surface stains with an in-office or at home teeth whitening process, giving you a brighter, more confident smile!

Call us at 864.242.2848 and get the smile you deserve!

Crowns vs. Veneers

Many of us want a whiter and brighter smile.  This can be accomplished by several different restorative methods.  Some of these procedures include: simple bleaching, orthodontics if needed or by restoring the teeth with veneers or crowns.  Each treatment is used for specific reasons.  If you are satisfied with the overall shape and appearance of your teeth.  Simple custom tray bleaching can provide extremely satisfying results.  However when teeth are out of alignment and you do not want to go through the process of orthodontics to straighten them, then crowns or veneers can offer another option.  While it is ideal to align teeth with braces/clear retainers first, this is not always an option for some people.

Crowns and veneers provide excellent treatments to change shade, shape and position (to a limited extent) of the natural teeth.  The question for most people is when you do one versus the other.  The main thing that your dentist will look at is what is already existing in the natural teeth.

If the teeth have numerous cracks present, cavities or large fillings/fillings in between the teeth, a crown is a more suitable treatment.  This is because the cracks or the fillings have weakened the overall tooth structure and a crown will provide a full coverage restorative option protecting the entire exposed tooth.  

Veneers are excellent for teeth that are discolored, have spaces or mild crowding and may have chips or defects but are structurally intact with no cavities present.  A veneer is a more conservative restoration that can straighten a smile but only covers the front of the tooth and therefore if a tooth needs to be rotated or aligned more than slightly, the overall tooth can end up feeling bulky. 

This is just a brief overview of these two procedures.  Visit Magnolia Dental to find out more if you are interested.  We offer complimentary cosmetic consults!


With all the advances in home hygiene care, I get a lot of questions on whether an electric toothbrush is better than a manual toothbrush.  The answer comes from how you brush.  If you brush for at least 2 minutes, 2-3 times a day with either you will have great results. However, many people do not brush for even 30 seconds with a manual brush.  

Here are the main advantages of an electric toothbrush:

  1. Most electric toothbrushes are equipped with 2 minute timers that encourage the user to brush for the appropriate amount of time and even pulse every 30 secs to allow you to brush each quadrant of your mouth equally.  
  2. The brush head of an electric toothbrush is either oscillating or vibrating to aid in more efficient plaque removal.  This is important because this movement is a great help, especially to those that have limited dexterity.  
  3. Some electric toothbrushes come with a sanitizing device allowing you to clean your brush head in between cleanings.
  4. New electric toothbrushes can change their movement to let you know if you are brushing to aggressively.

Again, both brushes are able to complete great home care as long as you put in the time!


First impressions are so crucial in our day-to-day lives.  From daily interactions with others, to choosing what store we buy needed items from, to deciphering which specific brand of a product we use, to being able to be hired for your dream job, first impressions can have an extremely strong impact on determining what path our lives take. 

"You never get a second chance at a first impression!"- Oscar Wild

A beautiful smile is a way to gain that sought after confidence.  Not only do we feel better individually, but this confidence emanates through our posture and other body language.  We invest in so many different material things, yet few people prioritize their oral health.  It is so important to invest in yourself.  The best accessory to any outfit is a beautiful smile.

Click on the picture below to read about the beauty benefits of smiling!

The Beauty Benefits of Smiling by Angelica Catalano

The Beauty Benefits of Smiling by Angelica Catalano