Acid Reflux Disease and Your Dental Health

Apr 19th, 2012 | By | Category: General Dentistry

Acid Reflux DiseaseIf you suffer from Acid reflux disease—also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)—you’re used to having heart burn and other uncomfortable symptoms on a regular basis. Do you know that your acid reflux can take a toll on your dental health? Today, San Francisco dentist Dr. Stefan Moiceanu wants to tell you how your condition can harm your pearly whites.

What Happens with Acid Reflux?

When you eat and drink, the substances travel through your mouth, down your esophagus, and into your stomach. Here, the stomach acids begin the digestion process. These acids are kept in the stomach by a muscle connected between your esophagus and your stomach that opens and closes to allow food to pass through.

With acid reflux/GERD, this muscle becomes weak, therefore allowing the stomach contents to travel back up into the esophagus. This can cause a burning sensation in the chest, neck, or throat—often referred to as heartburn—a feeling of food coming back up into the mouth, and a lingering acidic or bitter taste.

How does this Effect My Teeth?

Each of your teeth is protected by a hard white coating called tooth enamel. As the second hardest naturally occurring substance, your tooth enamel protects your teeth from the extreme pressures and temperatures they’re exposed to on a daily basis. Your enamel, however, is not match for the acid that invades your mouth with acid reflux.

Over time, this acid—along with the acid in the foods, drinks, and medications you consume—can begin to erode your tooth enamel. When the enamel wears away, you can experience tooth sensitivity, cavities, dental staining, gum disease, and other serious dental and oral health problems.

The only way to protect yourself from the damaging effects of acid reflux is to attend regular dental cleanings and exams and to receive proper acid reflux treatment from your general physician. To reserve an appointment at Hilltop Family Dental in Richmond, California, call (510) 758-7222 or visit us online at hilltopfamilydental.com. We serve patients from Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Vallejo, Pinole, El Cerrito, Hercules, Benicia, and the greater Contra Costa County area.

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