How Acid Reflux Can Damage Teeth

Posted on: 6 March 2015


Acid reflux plagues more than 18.6 million people living in the United States. While most people are aware that it is bad for your esophagus, it is not a well-known fact that it is equally bad for the teeth. If you or someone you care about has acid reflux, it is a good idea to take a little time to learn about how it impacts your oral health:

What is Acid Reflux?

GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is used to refer to people who have acid reflux often enough that it becomes part of a person's life. Acid reflux happens when acid breaks through the esophagus and creeps up into the throat and mouth. This burning sensation is familiar to millions of people. Some people refer to this issue as heartburn.

While there are many causes of this unpleasant medical disorder, many people do not realize their diet is causing it. Foods that are high in acid such as tomatoes, oranges, lemons, or onions can cause acid reflux. While a lifestyle change can help reduce this painful issue, some people continue to suffer and need medication to control it.

The Relationship Between Acid and Your Teeth

Teeth are exposed to a fair amount of wear and tear each day. Chewing, flossing, brushing, and drinking all affect a person's teeth. Acid has one job, to break things down. Some foods have acid in them and they break down the teeth in small amounts. For people who suffer from acid reflux, there is a higher concentration of this liquid in their mouths.

This means that teeth are attacked by acid more often. It can lead to faster tooth decay and dental problems. If the problem has progressed for too long, a dentist may need to put a crown on the tooth to save it.

How To Save Teeth From Acid Reflux

The best defense against damage from acid reflux is to take medication regularly and change the foods consumed to reduce episodes. Dentists caution to not brush teeth right after reflux has occurred. Instead, rinse the mouth out with a mouthwash that is fluoride based.

It may also be helpful to chew gum that has the ingredient xylitol. This particular substance reduces acid in the mouth and can help protect the fragile enamel on teeth. Without taking action, teeth can become brittle and chip with ease.

The teeth may seem strong, but they are constantly under attack. It may be acid from reflux, brushing with too much force, or a dozen other things. This is why it is crucial to take steps to protect them. If you suffer from acid reflux, talk to your doctor about ways to control it for the sake of your teeth.

Have other questions? If you want more help deciding how best to care for your teeth, contact a company like Glendale Dental Group to learn more.