The acid in your stomach is strong enough to break down all the food you eat. It’s so strong, that repeated reflux into your esophagus can cause serious damage. We’ve all experienced heartburn, but people with GERD experience that sensation and other symptoms more than twice a week. That means your stomach acid is eating away at things it shouldn’t, on a regular basis.
Dental erosion is a real possibility for people with GERD. In fact, dentists are often the ones who discover when a patient has GERD. The enamel on your teeth can be worn away over time by repeated exposure to the acid in digestive fluids that come up into the mouth.
GERD can even contribute to oral cancer if not treated. Most people manage symptoms of GERD with over the counter antacids, but prescription medication from a gastroenterologist may be necessary. Here are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of damage to your teeth:
Chew gum – sugarless gum increases saliva production without causing tooth decay. Saliva dilutes any acid in your mouth and encourages swallowing.
Don’t brush – If you taste acid in your mouth, don’t brush right away. That can increase any damage to your teeth by contact between the abrasive toothbrush and already affected tooth enamel.
Rinse – get stomach acid out of your mouth and away from your teeth by rinsing with baking soda and water. Baking soda will neutralize the acid and water will dilute and flush it away.
Regular oral health exams by your dentist can prevent a host of serious issues. Reflux and GERD can cause permanent damage to your teeth. Patients in Zelienople, PA trust their smiles to Marion Smile Center. Call (724) 452-4300 for your appointment today!