Gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is more commonly known as acid reflux disease, can cause more problems than simply upsetting your stomach. In fact, did you know that acid reflux can actually hurt your oral health? Sadly, GERD (the abbreviation for acid reflux) causes stomach acid to back up into your esophagus and sometimes into your mouth.
This can be problematic because it can erode your enamel, which is the hard, outer layer of your teeth. Similarly, people who suffer from GERD also tend to have dryer mouths. Unfortunately, a dry mouth means you’ll have lost saliva in your mouth, which create an environment where bad bacteria and plaque can grow. Ultimately, this can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and can further erode your enamel.
Still, please note that acid reflux is hard to diagnose, but a dentist is often the first health care professional able to notice the early signs of acid reflux. Aside from issues with your teeth, the symptoms of GERD often include sinus infections, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, coughing, hoarseness and bad breath.
Most importantly, if you have GERD, what can you do? You may consider changing your diet, but certain medications can help as well. Specifically, you should consider limiting the consumption of acidic foods and drinks, such as juices, soda, or alcohol. Citrus fruits can also trigger your acid reflux. Similarly, if you’re experience dry mouth, try to drink more water and rinse your mouth with water after consuming anything acidic.
Do you have more questions about acid reflux disease? Do you have questions about what gum disease could do to your teeth, or about how you can prevent tooth decay with GERD? If you are interested in learning more, or would simply like to schedule an appointment with Dr. David J. Harsant, we invite you to contact our team at David J. Harsant, DDS, PA by calling 910.864.4646. We will gladly address any of your questions and help you develop an individualized plan for you.