Can acid reflux affect my teeth?
Acid reflux is one of the possibilities causing enamel erosion
Your goal is to strive for sparkly white, healthy teeth! You brush and floss regularly like you are told but your dentist informs you that you have erosion of the enamel of your molars and the backsides of your teeth! That enamel is what protects your teeth from daily biting, chewing and crunching as well as from painful sensitivity that can occur from extreme temperatures. Enamel also helps to protect our teeth from unwanted cavities that can form and from early decay. Unfortunately once enamel is damaged your body cannot repair it.
So what is causing this erosion?
There can be many possibilities and one of them is acid reflux, more specifically GERD, a more severe form of acid reflux. Many people do not realize that gastric acid that is refluxed up through the esophagus can reach the back of the mouth and the molars. This constant exposure to these gastric acids in the mouth can erode the enamel or the outer surface of the teeth.
Even those that experience “silent” reflux and do not present with the usual signs of acid reflux such as heartburn can still end up with erosion of enamel on the teeth. For these people it can sometimes be their dentist that actually discovers that there is a possible problem with acid reflux. In this case your dentist will refer you to a gastroenterologist so that you can be properly diagnosed and treated.
Treat your acid reflux properly
This is one more important reason to treat your acid reflux properly and for the long-term! If treated properly you can save the enamel on your teeth and prevent any further damage. For long-term treatment of acid reflux to occur you need to get to the root of your acid reflux issues and treat what is causing it.
To treat your teeth, see your dentist every six months whether you have acid reflux or not and always maintain good oral health by brushing and flossing regularly. If you have erosion issues your dentist will work with you on a plan to prevent further erosion and to keep your teeth healthy.