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Does GERD Leave Your Teeth Reeling?

Posted on 1/20/2020 by Mark Bieber
Does GERD Leave Your Teeth Reeling?Naturally, your body produces acids that help with the digestion of food. Sometimes, especially after a large meal, these acids tend to travel up the throat into your mouth. In the event of such, the saliva will help to rebalance the levels of acids in your mouth.

However, it is quite different for people suffering from gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). GERD is a digestive disorder in which the food and acidic juices keep coming back into the esophagus from the stomach. The acid reflux happens throughout, even when the patient is asleep.

How GERD Affects Your Oral Health

When you experience frequent cases of acid reflux, the acid gradually wears away the enamel on your teeth. This is known as tooth erosion. Tooth erosion not only affects how your teeth look, but also exposes your teeth to harmful bacteria that can lead to cavities. Unfortunately, tooth erosion is irreversible, and the damage is permanent. You may need to have your teeth removed.

Some of the symptoms of tooth erosion include sensitivity when taking sweet, cold or hot drinks, yellow discoloration of the teeth, change in tooth fillings, tooth loss, and in extreme cases, an abscess.

When you are asleep, your mouth produces less saliva as there is minimal swallowing that happens during that period. When acid reflux happens in your sleep, the amount of acid in your mouth cannot be neutralized by the little saliva available. This means that the damage is even more pronounced when GERD happens in your sleep.

It is also feared that acid reflux medication makes your mouth dry. This not only makes it difficult to neutralize the acids that make it to your mouth, but also jeopardizes your oral health as the saliva helps in cleaning the teeth. Without saliva, harmful bacteria build up in your mouth and you are at greater risk of cavities.

If you suffer from GERD, it is advisable to keep off tobacco and alcohol. Our office can also recommend products that boost saliva production and strengthen tooth enamel. Above all, schedule regular checkups with our office for proper dental care.

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