Does acid reflux have anything to do with tooth decay?

I have pretty bad acid reflux (I am a teenager), and here is the story (if there is anything else you need to know about it, let me know):
I began having acid reflux quite a while ago, and when we finally figured out what it was, I began taking medication which helped a lot. I finished the medication, and went back to the doctor for a check up and was told that I probably didn’t need to take it anymore, but if the reflux came back, to start up again and gradually reduce the dosage. After stopping the meds, it got WAY worse, so I started again, but this time around, I haven’t been very consistent. Sometimes I will take it twice a day, the next few days I won’t take it, then I will take one a day, etc. Recently, it has gotten unbearable. I didn’t go to school a few days ago because of a severe stomach ache that made me feel like throwing up. Before lunch, I realized what it could be and took an acid reflux pill, and felt a lot better.
Which brings me to the fact that I have a dentist appointment in a couple of days. As I was brushing my teeth (Twice a day, and flossing before bed, plus mouthwash) I noticed how yellow my teeth are and that particularly around my gums they look like I haven’t brushed in ages. Sometimes they bleed when I floss, but I don’t eat a lot of sugar, and I thought that surely they couldn’t be that bad naturally.
I am wondering if the acid reflux could possibly have anything to do with what appears to be tooth decay? What does my dentist need to know?
If it matters, I am a vegetarian, although I don’t eat a lot of sugar and have a pretty balanced diet. I am also not bulimic.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my question :]
Erin, thanks! I will try to remember to update the question with all of the details… What you have already told me is very helpful!
*This question will also remain open so that I can get more opinions.
Thank you both for responding! BeachHaven: The ginger sounds like a pretty cool idea, and I appreciate that you considered my health and diet when you answered, it was very sweet of you. I may try it, because I know that when I chewed some ginger anti-nausea gum it worked immediately!
Erin: I went to the dentist, and it wasn’t really thought to be very severe. They said that there were a few areas to watch, and brush them extra carefully (on my molars, you were right!!) and that it seemed like I still need to take the pill. Also, if it gets to much worse I’m supposed to let them know. Part of it was apparently that my teeth were a bit stained from black tea and coffee, and the stains have texture, hence them feeling extra gross in the morning.

2 Responses to “Does acid reflux have anything to do with tooth decay?”

  1. Erin Says:

    LOL… I am a newer dental assistant and Ill try to share my knowledge with you. So acid reflux will def effect your teeth. It can wear away the enamel on your teeth and then the dentin (the yellow you might be seeing) will show through. But this should be more on your molars. The fact that you have the acid reflux is going to help wear your teeth down just like a bulimic. Its going to have the same effect. But your gums should not be that bad. Puffiness and red gums don’t just go away in a short amount of time. So maybe if you just started flossing now, the gum may be irritated. If you continue to floss… it should go away eventually. If you do floss regularly… maybe mention it. BUT you should def tell your dentist about the acid reflux because it can effect your oral health greatly. He will put it in your chart and treat it in the way he sees fit.
    Hope everything goes ok… you should def update this question… Im kind of curious to how you make out 😛

  2. beach heaven Says:

    The answer is that yes it can effect your teeth and breath, and I hope you are getting enough protein. Now for your acid reflux, I have been suffering with it for many years. Every medication available has been tried, and they are all pretty expensive. Recently I started taking something else, and haven’t had any pills in about 4 months. Go to your health food store and get *candied ginger* when you feel the acid rising, chew some, if your stomach is hurting, chew some. My husband has also used it on occasion, and cannot believe that it works. Since I started using it, I will tell everyone I can, because it has amazed me

    p.s. Clairy, I noticed you also said you did not eat a lot of sugar, and I know candied ginger does have sugar, but believe me it works, I was in my late 20’s when I started suffering with acid reflux, and have suffered with it for about 25 years, and cannot believe, something as simple as this has fixed my problem. Since you are a vegetarian, obviously you are into taking care of yourself, and would rather have a natural fix instead of chemical. You have nothing to lose by trying it, except your acid reflux.