Gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is more commonly known as acid reflux disease, can cause more problems than simply upsetting your stomach. In fact, did you know that acid reflux can actually hurt your oral health? Sadly, GERD (the abbreviation for acid reflux) causes stomach acid to back up into your esophagus and sometimes into your mouth.
Of course, this sounds uncomfortable, but the issues this acid can cause can be fairly serious? You see, the acids from your stomach can dry out your mouth, creating an environment where bacteria and plaque will thrive. Unfortunately, if plaque and bacteria can thrive, you may be more likely to suffer from tooth decay, such as cavities. This can be even more problematic because the acid itself can wear down your enamel, which is the protective layer of your teeth. This will leave your mouth even more susceptible to decay.
Still, please note that acid reflux is hard to diagnose, but a dentist is often the first health care professional able to notice the early signs of acid reflux. Aside from issues with your teeth, the symptoms of GERD often include sinus infections, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, coughing, hoarseness and bad breath.
Most importantly, if you have GERD, what can you do? You may consider changing your diet, but certain medications can help as well. Specifically, you should consider limiting the consumption of acidic foods and drinks, such as juices, soda, or alcohol. Citrus fruits can also trigger your acid reflux. Similarly, if you’re experience dry mouth, try to drink more water and rinse your mouth with water after consuming anything acidic.
If you have acid reflux, or suspect that you have acid reflex, we recommend scheduling an appointment with our dentist, Dr. David J. Borgmeyer and Augustine Borgmeyer. Our team can inspect the color of your mouth to identify problems caused by GERD. If our team is able to identify your issue early, we can help you overcome these issues. Simply call Borgmeyer Dental at 314-351-6554 to schedule an appointment with us. We’re excited to hear from you.