Acid Reflux: What it Means for Your Dental Health
Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal acid reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that can cause damage to your esophagus. When you have this condition, stomach acid flows up into your esophagus instead of going through your digestive tract. In some cases, this acid can end up in your mouth, putting your dental health at risk. If you have acid reflux, its important to know how this condition can affect the health of your teeth and gums.
The stomach acid that flows into your esophagus due to acid reflux can cause serious problems that affect your dental health. One of these problems is enamel erosion. The enamel on your teeth protects them from damage and decay. As enamel erodes when exposed to stomach acid, your teeth become more vulnerable to decay and damage.This can lead to tooth infections, severe discomfort and an increased risk of tooth loss. It can also cause significant tooth sensitivity.
Acid reflux can also have a harmful effect on the health of your gums. Exposure to stomach acids can raise the risk of developing gum disease, or periodontal disease. The disease attacks your gum tissue, causing your gums to recede and increasing your risk of losing teeth. When you have periodontal disease, you're also at risk of developing infections that spread to other parts of your body.
Dentists often notice signs of this condition during routine dental exams and cleanings. While you might notice symptoms, such as heartburn, dentists can look for signs of damage associated with acid reflux, such as enamel erosion or gum problems. If you already know you have this condition, it's important to manage it as much as you can in order to protect your teeth and gums.
If you have dental health problems caused by acid reflux, please contact Great Lakes Dental to schedule an appointment.