A six-month follow up of 12 people with GERD and six others who were not suffering from the condition showed that those with acid reflux had much worse tooth wear and erosion.
Tooth erosion may naturally occur due to chewing but about half of GERD patients had tooth wear and erosion several times higher than the healthy counterparts, says the report inJournal of the American Dental Association.
The acid from the stomach is strong enough “to dissolve the tooth surface directly, or soften the tooth surface, which is later worn down layer by layer,” said lead author Dr. Daranee Tantbirojn of the University of Tennessee.
“The damage from acid reflux looks like tooth wear -- the tooth is flattened, thin, sharp or has a crater or cupping.”
Saliva acts as a defense mechanism because its buffering capacity helps protecting teeth in neutralizing acid, but it cannot fully protect teeth against all acid condition in mouth formed after eating and drinking or due to acid reflux from stomach.
Researchers suggested people with acid reflux to follow some measures to lower their teeth damage. They, for instance, should avoid brushing their teeth immediately after an acid reflux episode and use a fluoride rinse instead.
Using Xylitol chewing gum and taking baking soda or antacids after acid reflux episodes can also protect teeth against erosion.
Clearly, a precise diagnosis of reflux should be made so that a definitive strategy can be created to control reflux. It may be important to undergo an endoscopic examination by a gastroenterologist. A camera at the end of a long tube is placed through the mouth into the stomach to evaluate the esophagus as well as the G.I. tract, including the stomach and small intestine. Biopsies can be taken to prove the diagnosis. There are a variety of procedures that can also be offered one medication's fail. These include the TIF and Stretta procedure. These procedures attempt to augment the lower esophageal sphincter to prevent the backwash of stomach contents into the esophagus. These contents can reach as far up into the mouth and cause destruction of the dental enamel. So sometimes simply lowering, the acid is not enough you need to completely block, the contents which contain enzymes and bile and other noxious substances other than acid. The pills for reflux, are acid lowering pills only, and would not manage all of these components.odes. Management of reflux includes medical drug therapy and/or surgical options.