Acid Reflux and how it affects your Mouth
Do you have heartburn? If so you are not alone 10% of Americans have heartburn or acid reflux, also known as GERD. Many of us don’t realize that the most common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn. What is acid reflux or GERD? When the muscles of your lower esophagus are relaxed it allows the acids from your stomach to flow up to through the esophagus and sometimes your mouth. When this happens these acids not only inflame and irritate your esophagus but it can cause great harm to your oral health. For those who have an advanced case of GERD you may be feeling an uncomfortable burning sensation associated with heartburn. Having GERD can increase your risk of esophageal cancer and can erode your teeth. When the enamel of your teeth is damaged, it can cause your teeth to be sensitive as well as increase your risk for decay, discoloration, and chipping. The best way to prevent acid reflux or GERD from damaging your teeth or cause decay is to practice good oral hygiene. Ways to do that include, brushing twice daily, use a dentin sensitive toothpaste, rinse with water following an acid reflux episode, receive fluoride treatments to strengthen your teeth, wear a mouth-guard fabricated by your dentist and visit your dentist frequently for check-ups and cleanings.