Can GERD cause damage to your teeth? The short answer, is yes. Gastroesophageal reflux, also known as acid reflux or GERD, can cause significant damage to your teeth. In fact, dentists are often the first to identify signs of GERD. So we’ll explain how and what you can do to protect yourself from potential health problems caused by acid reflux.
Essentially, GERD causes stomach acids to back up into the esophagus and sometimes into the mouth. So it’s no surprise that GERD can wear away the enamel on the inside surfaces of your teeth and chewing surfaces. Unfortunately, tooth erosion is permanent and once it occurs, you may need crowns, root canals, fillings, even extractions.
Your gastroenterologist will work to help manage this condition. And in the meantime, here are some other ways you can protect your teeth.
Ways to Protect Your Teeth
- Chew sugar-free gum (encourages saliva production).
- Use fluoride and desensitizing toothpastes may help strengthen tooth enamel.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking.
- Refrain from eating 3 hours before bedtime (and don’t lay down right after eating)
- Eat smaller meals.
- Avoid trigger foods and beverages (tomato, coffee, citrus foods, raw onions, spicy foods, chocolate).
As always, we recommend working with your healthcare professional. So if you experience GERD symptoms, it’s important to bring this up with your dentist for ways to further protect your teeth.
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