Understanding Acid Reflux and Its Dental Manifestations

Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are a family of pain-related disorders associated with impaired function in the jaw, temporomandibular joint and muscles of mastication. Our objectives were to evaluate the association between chronic TMD and gastresophageal reflux disease (GERD) and to determine whether mental disorders or undermined sleep mediates this association.

Also, people with heartburn or GERD have a much higher risk of xerostomia, or dry mouth. This lack of lubrication, paired with acid-roughened tooth surfaces, increase the risk of wear and tear on the teeth. A major contributor to GERD is stress.

Stomach acids can cause dental erosion

Bruxism can also be the result of acid reflux, the side effects of some medications or a complication of Huntington’s or Parkinson’s disease. Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders often coincide with bruxism, and your risk of grinding and clenching increases if you smoke tobacco, drink caffeinated or alcoholic drinks or use illegal drugs. Lemon juice and other plant food potassium salts can be used to treat gastric acidity due to systemic alkalinizing effects when metabolized in the large intestine 22 , and this may be of the reasons why the patient of this case had sucking lemon compulsion. Since smokers have a greater tendency to bruxism, it is always prudent to advise patients about the deleterious effect of smoking, in spite of the difficult in quitting.

Related to Oral Care

If you are a grinder with sensitive teeth, toothpastes like Colgate® Enamel Health™ Sensitivity Relief are very helpful. To prevent tooth erosion, maintain good oral health by brushing at least twice daily and flossing. See your dentist regularly, and be sure to ask about dietary and lifestyle changes that can help your mouth.

  • I woke up the first morning with a mouth full of sour acid.
  • When the association between severe tooth wear and GERD in bruxism patients was evaluated by different tooth locations and surfaces, the association was significant in all tooth locations and the palatal/lingual and occlusal/incisal surfaces but not the buccal/labial surfaces and cervical areas.
  • You use your teeth every day, and some tooth wear over time is unavoidable.
  • The pain may be felt over the angle of the jaw (masseter) or in the temple (temporalis), and may be described as a headache or an aching jaw.

Some proteolytic enzymes in dentin or saliva may be activated by acids and potentially degrade the organic substances in dentin [24]. For patients with GERD, apart from gastric acid, the proteases in the refluxate, such as pepsin and trypsin, also play a role in dentin wear [14]. The present study identified an increased odds ratio for severe tooth wear in bruxism patients with GERD for an extensive time period. The influence of erosive agents on tooth wear is intensified by extended time-periods [26].

With front teeth, as they wear, they get thinner, so the tips are like knife edges and break away. Also, the space closes, this means there might not be any space left to put them back to their original shape. Restoring worn out front teeth can be a difficult and expensive procedure. Another term is bio-corrosion – in other words teeth corroding away due to their surrounding environment.

Diet and lifestyle contribute to acid reflux. Chocolate, peppermint, citrus, tomatoes, fried or fatty foods, coffee (especially acidic coffee), alcoholic beverages, garlic, and onions are foods to avoid. Weight gain (also weight gain associated with pregnancy) and smoking (by relaxing the LES) may be contributing factors.

If you are a tooth grinder and also have GERD, you should consider scheduling an appointment with your physician to get screened for sleep apnea. If you have a diagnosis of sleep apnea, you may be prescribed a CPAP machine.

Low salivary flow reduces its buffering and clearance effect, predisposing teeth to demineralization. In addition, it is necessary to be aware of the effects of associated psychiatric disorders such as bulimia and making appropriate referrals. Dental professionals commonly review health histories listing medications that identify patients with a diagnosis of acid reflux. Most often, a specialized physician known as a gastroenterologist treats this condition. However, there are dental manifestations, so it is important that dental professionals identify these patients and recommend appropriate dental therapies to protect the long-term health of the dentition.

morning sickness or reflux (which can sometimes occur without you knowing) may experience this problem. Treatment of dental erosion may require dental care. Ask your dentist for advice. Dental erosion is preventable with proper diet, oral hygiene and regular dental care.

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