In this article, we won’t cover the steps you could take to control the acid reflux itself as our aim here is to focus on moderating and controlling damage to your enamel and teeth.
That being said, you should consult with your doctor along with taking some simple steps to lower the acids in your mouth. There are nutritional and dietary changes you can make and there are medications that your doctor can recommend.
You will even find that some commonly recommended steps also tie in with taking care of your teeth. For example, if you must drink juices, sodas and other sugary/acidic liquids then they should best be taken in with a straw to lower direct exposure to your teeth. Avoid sugary snacks and don’t eat acidic foods as snacks but instead with full meals.
First off, DO NOT brush your teeth immediately after eating, drinking (water excepted) or after an acid reflux incident. When your mouth is acidic, then the enamel softens and brushing at this time can cause damage. (By the way, this advice holds true for everyone and for more information, check out our article on when not to brush your teeth.)
Instead of brushing after a meal or an acid reflux occurrence, you should rinse with a glass of water. Better yet, add some salt or baking soda to the water. This is an excellent way to neutralize the acid levels in your mouth and is a highly recommended habit for acid reflux sufferers.
Secondly, your body’s saliva is your teeth’s best friend. Saliva not only neutralizes acids but it is nature’s natural remineralizing agent. To keep your enamel and teeth healthy, you want to ensure you have adequate saliva.
It might seem obvious, but it is worth stating that keeping hydrated is essential for saliva production–and for your overall health. GERD sufferers often experience dry mouth as well, compounding the destruction of enamel by the loss of saliva to remineralize your teeth. So, drink up, but not on sodas, juices or acidic beverages!
One powerful remedy is to chew with a sugar-free gum containing xylitol for several minutes after meals and acid incidents. The chewing action, together with xylitol, really helps in stimulating the saliva flow needed to fortify your weakened teeth and to neutralize acids.
Another approach is to use an essential oil blend that is specifically designed for maintaining oral health, such as our OraRestore Tooth and Gum Essential Oil Blend. This blend works to control pH levels, bacterial overgrowth and to stimulate saliva production. It is super easy to use and to carry along, so makes a great friend for acid reflux sufferers. Just a few drops on your tongue and gums will help bring bacteria under control, stimulate saliva production and so assist in remineralization and acid moderation.
So much for controlling the acid levels in your mouth, but what about helping to strengthen your teeth and repair the damage done by acids? The key is by returning lost minerals to the depleted enamel.
While traditionally fluoride has assisted in doing this, it is not a natural approach and there are many concerns about the long-term safety of artificially introduced fluoride to your body.
In very simple terms, the reason fluoride works is that it works to bind minerals to your teeth and it is this process of assisted remineralization that helps in cavity prevention.
But a far, far better (and safer) technique is to remineralize with the actual, natural type of calcium that your body uses to form your enamel.
This form of calcium is called hydroxyapatite. Just like fluoride, it remineralizes your enamel but far more effectively, naturally and without the health hazards that many are concerned about. And, by returning this natural component to your teeth, you are restoring a natural and strong level of protection.
This sounds great and makes sense, but there is a challenge to getting the hydroxyapatite to bind effectively to your damaged enamel. To create a proper and ready bond required a solution.
This was solved through the scientific development of nano-hydroxyapatite. This laboratory created form is super-micro and formulated to rapidly and securely bond to deteriorated enamel. Although created through science, it is still natural to your body and mimics the natural cycle of remineralization.
By scientifically re-engineering this natural form of calcium into a "nano" form, one now has a super remineralizing substance that readily restores minerals, and thus protective strength, to your teeth.
However, although still natural, it is a clinically created and manufactured product.
That means that its quality can vary as there are different manufacturers and formulations. Aside from the quality factor, there is also the price factor and the better performing formulations can be relatively costly. What this all means is that although many oral products may boast of containing hydroxyapatite that does not mean that they have quality formulations or even an adequate amount to get the job done.
One quality product to consider would be our OraRestore Pro-Mineralizer toothpaste. It contains a patented form of nano-hydroxyapatite that is clinically proven to remineralize teeth, add protection to your enamel and to significantly reduce the pain of dental sensitivity. Plus, it is free of nasty chemicals, fluoride and is sugar-free.
Just to recap:
These are all very effective steps to protect your teeth from the destructive effects of acid reflux and GERD.
(Please note, if you have already experienced severe damage to your teeth, then it is time to see the dentist for professional repairs. Do not wait on this, as the longer your severely damaged teeth go without treatment then the harder, costlier and more painful the repairs can be.)