GERD can damage your Teeth
Stomach acid is one of the marvels of human physiology. This substance is extremely acidic, ranging in pH from 1.5 to 3.5, which is enough cause serious discomfort if it escapes the stomach. While this acid generally stays safely in the stomach digesting food day after day, in certain situations it can escape from the stomach, causing damage to susceptable parts of our bodies, including the esophagus and our teeth.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, referred to as GERD, results from a weakening or failure of the lower esophageal sphincter, which is desiged to prevent stomach acid from washing up into the esophagus. Failure of the LES produces immediately noticeable symptoms, some of which are heart burn, coughing and indigestion in Albany. These symptoms indicate that significant amounts of acid are traveling up the esophagus. Besides damaging organs and the esophagus, this can also cause dental erosion. Damage to teeth is common in those diagnosed with GERD, but tooth damage can also be an early sign of GERD.
If you are experiencing frequent acid reflux then it is important to consult your physician. A dentist will notice the effects of even small amounts of acid on teeth. Frequent exposure to acid reflux can make your teeth more susceptible to cavities, and can also weaken the strength of your gums.
Though other causes of enamel erosion will have to be ruled out first, your dentist may determine that your tooth erosion is caused by acid reflux, and will send you to a reflux specialist to determine the cause, and if it can be attributed to GERD.
This is one more reason to make an appointment with your reflux physician for annual check-ups, because there are many ways to treat GERD and stop the damaging effects on teeth. Catching the problem early is critical. Don’t spend years battling with acid reflux when the problem can be treated and resolved now. Many cases can be resolved with minor dietary changes.