Can Acid Reflux Cause Dental Erosion?

My teeth started to feel weird – like the enamel on them was wearing out. The smooth feeling I normally felt when my tongue pressed against the inside of my bottom teeth felt rough, and my tongue began to hurt from constantly rubbing against them. I was afraid to bite down on anything hard for fear they might break. And then one day a tooth did break.

The dentist suggested I get veneers but I couldn’t afford any kind of cosmetic cover-up, so I had to find other solutions to help me take better care of my teeth.

My teeth were also very sensitive – especially when eating or drinking cold things. The dentist repaired the tooth then suggested I use a sensitivity toothpaste with fluoride. After about a week of using it, the sensitivity disappeared but my teeth still felt very vulnerable and rough.

If you’re an Acid Reflux sufferer like I used to be, the following is information you absolutely need to know that will help you safeguard and protect your teeth from further dental erosion:

The Cause:

  • Dental erosion occurs when acid destroys your teeth. The minerals needed to keep teeth healthy are removed. This can be caused by an array of acidic elements found in foods, beverages, alcohol, drugs, medications – even the air. People who who work with acidic chemicals are especially vulnerable.
  • Any acid that is either consumed, inhaled, regurgitated or placed in your mouth can cause dental erosion, which then leads to decay and other dental problems.
  • Acid Reflux or Gerd is a major contributor to dental erosion. It not only erodes your esophagus, but it can also erode your teeth. This occurs when stomach acid makes contact with your teeth, especially when you’re sleeping.
  • Chew able acidic medications and vitamins such as asprin and Vitamin C also add to dental erosion.

What to do:

  • Give your teeth a break between eating acidic foods to allow them to re-mineralize.
  • If your teeth are sensitive, use a sensitivity toothpaste with fluoride. There are many kinds out there and they really help. It only takes about a week for you to really notice the difference.
  • When drinking acidic drinks, use a straw. It helps keep the acid away from your teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth out after eating or drinking acidic foods and beverages. If your mouth is especially acidic, drink milk which helps neutralize the stomach acids. Antacids work too.
  • Use a softer tooth brush, and toothpaste with no abrasives in it.
  • Opt for medications or vitamins you just swallow, rather than chew.
  • If you have a habit of grinding your teeth – quit, or get help so you can.
  • Chew gum to increase your salivary flow which breaks down the acid in your mouth.
  • Use good dental hygiene. Brush after every meal and especially after eating or drinking acidic foods.

The Importance Of A Regular Dental Checkup

We know, we’ve heard it a thousand times and we completely understand why – nobody likes taking a trip to the dentist’s chair! A large number of adults miss out on regular dental checkups for this exact reason, and it’s a worrying trend.

Even if it seems like your teeth are in good shape, booking an appointment for a clean and a checkup once every six to twelve months can save you from holes in your teeth and a hole in your wallet! Caught early, problems that can turn expensive and painful later on won’t have the chance to develop further.

Preventative Dental Care

Routine checkups are the number one defence against major dental problems. Regular cleaning leads to your teeth looking and feeling better, and you’re less likely to feel the effects of a small cavity down the road. Remember, even if you think your teeth are in great shape, there’s always the possibility of a problem that you can’t see in the mirror or feel when you’re eating.

Regular cleanings and examinations can even lead to the discovery of more serious conditions. Diabetes, cancer, HIV and a number of other diseases often display symptoms that appear in the mouth. Your dentist might be the one to spot the symptom of a major problem before it’s too late.

Dental Checkups for Kids

It’s also important to take the kids along to the family dentist regularly. Routine examinations can spot problems such as cavities or crowded and crooked teeth before they become difficult to deal with and even more expensive.

Having a positive focus on regular dental checkups also reinforces the importance of oral health; you’ll be helping to build healthy habits in your children early on in life

Beat the Fear of the Chair

For some, there’s a lot of fear associated with a visit. If you feel uncomfortable with the idea of visiting your dentist and it has been something holding you back, why not give them a call? Voicing your concerns and explaining the situation will let them help you feel at ease and comfortable with a checkup – most dentists are quite experienced at helping apprehensive patients.

If you haven’t made it to the dentist in a while and you’ve been a little nervous about heading back, don’t waste any more time. Book an appointment for a routine clean and examination with your family or local dentist today, and make a point to visit the chair once every 6-12 months: it really isn’t that scary!