Acid reflux or GERD is a common problem for patients at Fresh Meadows Dental Care in Oakland Gardens. As part of our mission to help improve patients’ quality of life, we recognize that many of the conditions we treat are closely related to other health issues and that GERD has been linked to sleep apnea. Therefore, we wanted to help patients to understand how to protect themselves and what we can do to help them.
The discomfort from acid eroding tooth enamel may cause people to clench or grind their teeth at night. This would cause pain in their shoulder muscles and headaches. But nighttime teeth grinding (bruxism) is also common in people who have obstructive sleep apnea and whose bodies are attempting to keep airways open. It may be that the acid itself is obstructing the airways as it travels up the esophagus and into the mouth. But in any case, bruxism is likely to cause patients to be pulled out of deep sleep on a regular basis.
Acid reflux and obstructive sleep apnea are both common in people who are overweight. Some contributors to acid reflux, in particular, are fried meats, dairy, foods from the garlic and onion family, alcohol, and citrus acid. Recent studies have found that CPAP machines, which are used to treat sleep apnea, are also effective against acid reflux.
Farid Hakimzadeh, DDS, operates Fresh Meadows Dental Care at 58-47 Francis Lewis Blvd., Suite 100, Oakland Gardens, New York, 11364. To schedule an appointment, call 718-224-7272 or visit Fresh Meadows Dental and fill out a contact form.