If you suffer from GERD, you should be aware of its effects on dental health. As stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and throat, it wreaks havoc on tooth enamel, leading to the breakdown and decay of your teeth. It can also cause damage to the gums and oral tissues. Our expert for dental veneers in Wicker Park, IL, explains more below.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder in which stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, irritating the lining and causing heartburn, burping, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Left untreated, the disorder causes serious damage to the esophagus that can lead to cancer. Additionally, since the stomach acid can back up all the way to the throat and mouth, causing extensive damage to oral tissues and tooth enamel.
While many people with GERD have symptoms like heartburn and upset stomach, some people do not experience any symptoms at all. Your dentist may be the first to notice worn enamel on your back molars, caused by stomach acid. Over time, damage to the enamel leads to cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss.
It is critical to treat GERD before it causes long-term damage. If you notice the persistence of any of the below symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible:
Treatments include avoiding acidic and fatty foods, taking proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec, and quitting smoking. Weight loss is another helpful step in reducing GERD symptoms.
Remember, sometimes GERD does not present with any signs. Regular dental checkups can be one of the ways to detect GERD and help preserve your oral health!
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to dentistry, feel free to contact Dente Complete Dentistry, with a convenient dental office in Wicker Park, IL, by calling 773.295.0562 or by clicking here.