GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease, a.k.a. acid reflux) happens when your stomach's acid leaks into your esophagus. Some people experience heartburn or regurgitation when this happens. Other people are completely symptom free.
Signs and Symptoms of GERD
For those who experience symptoms of GERD, you may not only feel it in your chest and throat, but also in your teeth. GERD can cause pain and irritation in your mouth. This will contribute to the list of foods and drinks that make you feel worse. Besides acidic foods, hot, cold, and sweet foods will also cause you problems.
Sometimes you won't even notice these problems yourself, but this doesn't mean you're not suffering from GERD. It just means that you're suffering in a different way than most people do. You're suffering in your mouth, with your teeth and gums, instead of feeling it in your chest in the form of heartburn.
How GERD Affects Your Teeth
People who suffer from GERD are at a higher risk for tooth erosion and periodontal issues. This is because daily exposure to a stomach acid pH level of 2 eventually adds up in a way that thins and dissolves your teeth's protective coating, so they appear noticeably weakened.
Once this happens the sensitive inner layer of dentin becomes exposed. This leads to additional, serious health, teeth, and mouth problems. This is why we're usually the first to notice the changes this has on your teeth, including things like sharp tooth edges, darkening teeth, and teeth that are thinning and growing shorter.
Knowing that we can be the ones who detect GERD you'll want to make an appointment to have your teeth cleaned by our office today. We'll be able to tell you for sure if you're suffering from this ailment. So, make the phone call and we'll see you for a diagnosis and tooth cleaning too.