Acid Reflux (GERD) and Dentistry

ImageMore than 10 percent of Americans experience the burning and discomfort of heartburn every day.  What many do not know is that heartburn, or acid indigestion, is a common symptom of chronic acid reflux, also known as gastroeophageal reflux disease (GERD).


Ways to reduce acid reflux is to avoid trigger foods and some beverages. These include: chocolate, spicy greasy foods, tomato based foods, alcohol, and coffee. It is important to refrain from eating several hours before bed or lying down two to three hours after eating. Losing weight, if one is overweight or obese, and not wearing tight clothing, is important to minimalize the effects of heartburn. If you smoke,   quitting is a great start to reduce GERD, as well as, decreasing chances for oral and lung cancers. 


If you do have GERD it is extremely important to protect your teeth.  The reason being is stomach acid can damage your enamel and cause decay.  Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent tooth damage.  It would be a good idea for you to brush twice a day and do not forget to floss.  Visiting your dentist regularly is important for tooth enamel evaluations and fluoride treatment to strengthen teeth. It’s recommended that if one does have GERD, to use dentin-sensitive toothpaste such as Sensodyne ProNamel or Sensodyne original.  When episodes of acid reflux occur, rinse your mouth with water or dissolve baking soda in water and swish around for sometime to get rid of lingering acid.  When consuming acidic foods or drinks, DO NOT brush your teeth until 60 minutes afterwards. This is because the Ph in ones’ mouth is acidic and teeth become soft.  Brushing could cause damage to the enamel.  Lastly, try to avoid over-the-counter antacids – especially at night, they have high sugar content.

Taken from the Academy of General Dentistry, May 2012.


About Sonal Patel DDS

San Francisco General & Cosmetic Dentist. At my practice, we see adults & children. The procedures we do include, but are not limited to: teeth whitening, white (composite fillings), porcelain crowns, dental implants, nightguards, teeth cleanings, fluoride treatments, partial and complete dentures. We are a caring, patient-centered office with the latest technolgy and provide dental care with a gentle touch & strive for excellent customer service!
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5 Responses to Acid Reflux (GERD) and Dentistry

  1. Courtney Friesen says:

    Acid reflux is quite nasty and a bit painfull too. I usually take antacids to reduce stomach acids and some other food supplements. .;,*”

    Yours truly“>

  2. Maurice Foutch says:

    GERD is sometimes painful and the stomach acids that backflows on the mouth can also damage the teeth. ‘;:”`

    Enjoy your weekend!

  3. Jenise Ebersol says:

    GERD can sometimes destroy the back teeth because of stomach acids flowing back upwards the oral cavity. ^

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  4. Clarence Bumpaus says:

    i really hate it when i got some acid reflux after eating a lot from partying all night…

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  5. Lin Lietzow says:

    When you eat, food passes from the throat to the stomach through the esophagus (also called the food pipe or swallowing tube). Once food is in the stomach, a ring of muscle fibers prevents food from moving backward into the esophagus. These muscle fibers are called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES.If this sphincter muscle doesn’t close well, food, liquid, and stomach acid can leak back into the esophagus. This is called reflux or gastroesophageal reflux. Reflux may cause symptoms, or it can even damage the esophagus.:

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