Effects of Acid Reflux on Oral Health
Some patients have the common condition called GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease, where stomach contents go up the esophagus from time to time usually caused by relaxation of the sphincter muscle of the stomach that prevents the escape. Doctors call it GERD or more informally as acid reflux. Some patients experience it several times a day while others, less often.
Stomach fluids are highly acidic and their passage up and down the esophagus causes some degree of burning sensation felt at the middle of the chest or the heart area. Hence, it is commonly called heartburn. Sometimes contents reach the top of the esophagus and into the mouth, referred to as a regurgitation. On the other hand, some patients don’t notice because they are symptom-free.
People who suffer from acid reflux also have tooth erosion and periodontal issues. Stomach acid, with a pH of 2 or 1, dissolves tooth enamel (pH of 5.5) on a day-to-day contact leading to thinning and weakening of the protective coating of teeth. It will soon expose the inner dentin and that is when a person with GERD will feel tooth sensitivity. If it goes on untreated, other symptoms can manifest, like bloating, burping, nausea, hiccups, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness and weight loss. It merits medical attention. Even brushing, flossing or mouthrinses may be unable to protect teeth.
Patients will feel tooth sensitivity to hot, cold and sweet drinks, gum and mouth irritation, sharp tooth edges, shortened or darkened teeth, especially the back molars. And even if you don’t notice the symptoms, and hence not go to your doctor-specialist, your dentist certainly will notice.
Regular Dental Visits Matter in Issaquah
That is why regular dental visitations can do you a lot of good. Over at Meadow Creek Dental, your regular visits can tell you not just the state of your oral health but your overall well-being as well. This comes from fresh oral examination every time you see us. Our experienced Issaquah dentist can tell you more about systemic conditions seen in your mouth.