Acid reflux is a chronic digestive disease that occurs when acid from the stomach moves into the esophagus. A common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, which is experienced as burning chest pain. Another symptom is regurgitation when a sour or bitter tasting acid backs up in the throat or mouth. If you experience the symptoms of acid reflux more than twice a week you may have acid reflux disease, also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Certain foods and beverages may also put you at risk for acid reflux such as citrus, tomatoes, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, coffee, tea carbonated drinks and spicy or fatty foods.
During acid reflux episodes, small amounts of stomach acid travel into your mouth and can damage the enamel (outer layer of the tooth) as well as the dentin (layer on teeth under the enamel and on the root surface of teeth). In addition, the stomach acid often irritates the lining of the esophagus
If you’ve been diagnosed with gastroesophageal acid reflux disease, or GERD, your dental health might be at risk.
GERD causes stomach acids to back up into the esophagus and sometimes into the mouth. Individuals who have the disease are at risk for serious damage to the esophagus, including developing esophageal cancer. But they may not realize they are also at greater risk for tooth erosion and periodontal problems.
Patients who have been diagnosed with GERD should follow their physician’s instructions to control their reflux. Treatment strategies can include taking prescription medications; eating smaller meals and avoiding trigger foods like tomato, citrus foods, raw onions, spicy foods, chocolate, alcohol and coffee; and other coping techniques.
Dentists are often the first health care professionals who notice a potential acid reflux problem in a patient. Your dentist may notice tooth erosion or other oral signs. Other symptoms of GERD can include sinus infections, heartburn, difficult swallowing, cough, hoarseness and bad breath.
Talk to your dentist at DH Dental if you notice signs and symptoms so that you can control the acid reflux and protect your dental health.
During acid reflux episodes, small amounts of stomach acid travel into your mouth and can damage the enamel (outer layer of the tooth) as well as the dentin (layer on teeth under the enamel and on the root surface of teeth). In addition, the stomach acid often irritates the lining of the esophagus.