Because the most common symptom associated with acid reflux is heartburn, many are surprised to learn that one of the first signs of the disease is dental erosion on an individual’s back teeth. To better understand, GERD, or Gastrointestinal reflux disease occurs when the upper portion of the digestive tract fails to function properly, as reported by the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research. This results in stomach acids flowing back into the esophagus, and “splashing” into the mouth. With time, acids wear away at tooth enamel, causing erosion. Thus, when it comes to acid reflux and oral health, it is important to commit to regular dental checkups to protect tooth enamel from an acid attack.
Tooth enamel is remarkably strong and durable, and provides an important protective covering over teeth. However, it can break down. When acids repeatedly come in contact with tooth enamel, the enamel becomes soft and begins to lose minerals. This process describes the eroding of enamel, and this process exposes sensitive portions of teeth.
Imagine an individual that consumes a diet high in acidic foods and beverages. If the person has acid reflux, back teeth are vulnerable to erosion from any stomach acids that work their way back up through the esophagus. To make matters worse, if the individual snacks often, their entire oral cavity is exposed to acids regularly, without ample time for saliva to “add back” much needed minerals. With time, it’s likely that the individual will experience tooth sensitivity and perhaps discolored teeth from the acids.
Perhaps you know that you suffer from acid reflux, and you currently see a GI specialist. That’s great, but don’t forget your dentist! The connection between gastrointestinal reflux disease and dental erosion is too high to risk your oral health.
High Quality Care in a Supportive, Encouraging Environment
Serving East Cobb, Marietta and surrounding communities with comprehensive, family-focused dental care, Grateful Dental is happy to come alongside you in the quest for optimal oral and dental health. Led by Dr. Leia Porcaro, the team at Grateful Dental makes it their mission to provide the highest quality care in a supportive, encouraging environment.
Do you suffer from acid reflux? Do you visit your dentist regularly? Contact Grateful Dental today to schedule your appointment.