I’ve had acid reflux for years. Although I have used proton pump inhibitors for more than ten years, my new gastro specialist asked me to stop. We are exploring alternatives. Meanwhile, I am following a strict low acidic diet which seems to help. But my teeth are in horrible condition from years of stomach acid and vomit eating away at them. It hurts to chew a banana. I cannot image the pain of getting my teeth cleaned or treated for the sensitivity and pain. Will I need crowns on my teeth? Jamie
Thank you for contacting our office. Dr. Lacy would need to examine your teeth, but we hope your acid reflux is controlled soon.
As you mentioned, vomit is acidic—so acidic that it dissolves too enamel. Your teeth become sensitive and prone to decay. Acid reflux, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), has the same effect on teeth as bulimia.
What Is the Best Treatment for Acid Reflux Damaged Teeth?
Prevention—controlling reflux disease—is the best treatment to protect your teeth. After doctor has the disease under control, your dentist can discuss treatment options.
- Fluoride – Fluoride may strengthen your teeth with fluoride treatments. Fluoride will decrease tooth sensitivity.
- Dental crowns – Your dentist can use ceramic crowns to cover and protect your teeth. But the acid can potentially get beneath the crown, attack the tooth, and loosen the crowns eventually.
- Self-care – Meanwhile, rinse your mouth immediately after every snack or meal to neutralize the acid. Although rinsing your mouth is not a long-term solution. It will reduce the potency of stomach acid and vomit and limit the damage to your teeth. Limit brushing your teeth to twice daily. Too much brushing can further weaken your teeth.
Regardless of the treatment your dentist recommends, local anesthetic will prevent you from feeling pain. And sedation will calm your anxiety.
Best wishes for a swift resolution to your medical and dental health.
Miranda Lacy, DDS of Plano, Texas, sponsors this post.