Dental Tips Blog

Nov
3

Acid Reflux and Your Teeth

We’ve all heard that Acid Reflux Disease (GERD) can damage your esophageal tissue, but did you know it could also damage your tooth enamel? While this might not be a surprise at first, what is surprising is how abrasive it is when you consider that enamel is the hardest tissue in the entire human body!

The erosion from acid reflux disease typically causes small, pitted areas on the cusps of the back teeth. It can also cause overall erosion of tooth enamel on smooth tooth surfaces as well. When left untreated, erosion may be so severe that it causes complications with existing dental treatment like fillings or crowns. Not only does the acidity damage the teeth, but it can also make appliances such as braces have difficulty adhering to the tooth. Acid erosion can also occur in patients that suffer from eating disorders such as bulimia, due to the constant purging that exposes the front teeth to stomach acids.

When you allow your medical practitioner to help you manage your acid reflux condition it benefits all of your body. Whether it is by an altered diet, prescription medication, or even GI surgery, preventing acid erosion to your gastrointestinal tract is much more important than you may think. Simply covering up your reflux symptoms with over the counter medication does not correct the problem it just hides it.

While you work with your medical professional to address the needs of your condition, you can protect your teeth by using supplemental fluoride toothpaste or rinses. This allows the fluoride to help add minerals back into damaged tooth enamel, stunting the acid erosion that occurs on a daily basis.

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