Heartburn, Acid Reflux, and GERD Impact on Dental Health

All three of these problems are extremely similar and common. Ironically, most people are unaware that this is going on, or are even sure of what it really is. Essentially, the muscular valve connected to the stomach, the esophageal sphincter, is not working properly. Either the valve does not close all the way or opens at harmful moments. During these times, contents inside the stomach are able to move up the esophagus. Unlike the stomach, these parts of the body are not equipped to handle the high acidic content without leaving deteriorated tissue.

Eventually, the teeth begin to erode. Acid dissolves the tooth’s hard, protective exterior (enamel), leaving dentin exposed. This results in cracks and fractures, tooth sensitivity, discolouration and breakdown, tooth thinning and transparency, pitting and cupping on the chewing surfaces of teeth, uneven tooth levels, jagged and sharp tooth edges, pain, and finally, the loss of the tooth.

That’s a long list, I know. Onto something more positive, there are ways to prevent GERD. Since high levels of acidity in the mouth cause this disease, both from external or internal sources, avoid acidic beverages such as soda or fruit juice and make sure your doctor is aware of any possible related diseases such as acid reflux or bulimia. Like anything though, a healthy diet, limited alcohol, and no smoking is beneficial. Mild cases of GERD can also be helped by not eating fatty foods, onions, chocolate, or caffeine. You can even eat smaller meals and make sure to elevate your head when you sleep.

Depending on the case, there is possible treatment. If over the counter medication, such as Tums, is not working, talk to your physician and see if it is possible to receive other alternatives.

Braeside Dental Centre
Braeside Dental Centre


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