Can Acid Reflux Cause Oral Health Problems?

Acid reflux is an incredibly uncomfortable problem that can actually be quite painful, as well. It happens when acid backs up n the esphagus and makes its way into the mouth. This acid, in turn, can cause oral health problems of many sorts.

Loss of Tooth Enamel

Because acid reflux is largely characterized by stomach acid coming into the mouth, teeth are highly susceptible to a loss of enamel. This liquid isn’t intended to come into the mouth, and as such, teeth aren’t equipped to handle the barrage of acidic matter that comes with the disorder.

During an acid reflux attack, stomach acids bathe the teeth, covering them with the same fluids that are intended to break down food during digestion. This acid eats away at the enamel, causing teeth to become weak or unprotected during the process. While a single bout of acid reflux probably won’t cause much damage, repeated occurances will surely begin to wear down tooth enamel, particularly on the inside of the teeth that faces the throat.

Lack of Saliva

Your body produces saliva for a reason: it helps keep you mouth clear of bad bacteria by washing it away throughout the day and after you eat. People who experience acid reflux, however, often suffer from dry mouth, as well. This means they don’t produce enough (if any) saliva, so their mouths aren’t able to natrually battle the bacteria that can lead to bad breath, plaque, tartar, and decay.

There are other reasons acid reflux suffers often don’t have a healthy amount of saliva in their mouths.

  • Medications. The medications people take for this disease can cause dry mouth. This condition can be common for other medical issues, as well, not just acid reflux.
  • Lozenges. People who suck on candies or mints to calm their acid reflux are often inviting excess sugar into their mouths, which can reduce the amount of saliva.

Because acid reflux is an ongoing condition, it’s important to get it under control as soon as possible—not only for your own comfort and physical health, but also for the health of your teeth, as well.

If you suffer from acid reflux, it’s important to see your Montreal dentist regularly so he or she can assess your oral health situation and ensure your enamel is as protected as possible. If you’re not sure whether your teeth have been affected by GERD (or acid reflux), schedule an appointment with Retter Dental Care today.