Healthline says that about 20% of the population suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). While GERD can affect all ages–babies, children, teens, adults–it is typically more common in aging populations.
And while the condition mainly affects your GI tract, it also has negative effects on your oral cavity. Sometimes stomach acids will just seep up into the esophagus, but other times these acids can make their way up to the throat and mouth, increasing the likelihood of tooth decay.
And most adults don’t need one more thing that wears down their enamel, according to 123dentist.com:
Wearing down enamel
All the chewing, grinding, and hard impact that your teeth are put through over the years can take a real toll on their health. Not to mention any breakages, chips, or other trauma your teeth may have been exposed to which may result in even worse consequences down the line. Over time your teeth are gradually worn down from continued use or from damage, and this erosion diminishes the hard protective outer layer of teeth – the enamel – which cannot be naturally regained once it’s lost.
To combat enamel loss, be aware of habits that may be speeding up damage done to your teeth and try to stop them as soon as possible. These habits included chewing ice or other hard things like pens and pencils, grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw, and playing high impact sports without an athletic mouthguard. If you are prone to unconscious teeth grinding or clenching, ask your dentist about being fitted for a mouthguard you can wear while sleeping to protect your teeth. Frequent consumption of highly acidic foods such as fruit juices, citrus fruits, coffee, and soft drinks is also a culprit for enamel erosion as the acids eat away at the protective layer. Try to substitute water for acidic beverages and brush your teeth 30 minutes or so after consuming acidic foods to stop the acids from attacking your teeth before they can start. Since the acids weaken enamel, waiting before brushing is important to avoid causing extra harm.
If you suffer from GERD along with 123dentistry.com’s previously mentioned habits, it may be beneficial to make some lifestyle adjustments to prevent decay. It’s also important to keep your dentist appointments, since teeth cleanings, sealants, fluoride, and the like can all help. You can learn more at allin1dental.com/preventive-dentistry/
Along with worn-down enamel, GERD can cause dry mouth. Adults with dry mouth not only have bad breath, but their mouths are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria . . . which of course, leads back to decay. However, denticle.com has a good solution to the problem:
Study Shows OraCoat® XyliMelts® Oral Adhering Discs Effectively Treat Acid Reflux
Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), more commonly known as acid reflux, describes a chronic digestive condition in which an accumulation of stomach acid in the esophagus creates symptoms. Acid reflux affects about 30 percent of the population on a weekly basis and is known to contribute to or cause a number of medical and dental problems including heartburn, sore throat, laryngitis, cough, halitosis, and tooth decay. The condition is also associated with sleep disturbance and can have a negative effect on nighttime comfort and overall quality of life.
The study aimed to prove if XyliMelts, recently rated by a Clinicians Report® survey as the most effective remedy for alleviating dry mouth† could produce similar results in treating patients suffering from acid reflux, which is often managed by prescribed and over-the-counter medications that prevent excessive acid production . . .
XyliMelts are formulated from all-natural ingredients commonly used in foods. As tests prove that salivary stimulants can decrease the perception of nighttime dry mouth, tests also suggest increased saliva can diminish nighttime reflux . . . Test results displayed that both the disc and gel reduced the taste of reflux, heartburn sensation, morning hoarseness, perceived reflux severity, and the number of antacids taken during the night.
GERD may be a problem for many adults, but it doesn’t have to be unmanageable. Again, talk with your dentist for more information.