GERD can certainly do a number on your teeth. If it is left uncontrolled the acid can cause a lot of damage to the enamel on your teeth as well as your esophagus. This could potentially lead to cavities or other dental issues.
The role GERD can play in oral health is pretty common knowledge. Having GERD myself, I knew that it was doing some damage to my own teeth while it was out of control. What I hadn’t realized was that the GERD pain was also triggering me to clench and grind my teeth. A double whammy in the tooth damaging department. It was getting so bad that I actually broke a tooth last week
If you have GERD and also grind your teeth there are things you can do to protect your teeth. First, get your GERD treated. There are different medications on the market but most times an acid reducer or blocker can help to alleviate some of the symptoms. Make sure your dentist knows you have GERD so that he or she can check for acid damage at your appointment.
Should you find that you also grind your teeth there are night guards you can use to help protect your teeth. Some of these guards can be purchased over the counter and some have to be made at your dentist’s office. If you find you are literally chewing through the soft night guards then it might be time to have a harder one made.
While wearing a night guard may not be the sexiest thing (think the scene in Date Night) I venture to guess that having your teeth fall out is actually LESS attractive.
Jennifer Rackley is a nutritionist and mother of three girls. Two of her children have dealt with acid reflux disease, food allergies, migraines, and asthma. She has a Bachelor of Science in dietetics from Harding University and has done graduate work in public health and nutrition through Eastern Kentucky University. In addition to writing for HealthCentral, she does patient consults and serves on the Board of Directors for the Pediatric Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association.