ACID REFLUX: Dental Disaster, Part 1

Dr. Kiran Rapal • September, 29 2023

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), commonly known as acid reflux, affects a significant portion of the population. This condition also identified as heartburn, indigestion and other gastric disorders, can be easily overlooked. Most people are not even aware of it. However, during a careful dental exam, your dentist can identify any damage to the teeth. It can be very subtle just showing little pits or severe in some cases with complete disappearance of enamel. Consequently, teeth become very sensitive and susceptible to decay.

More pronounced enamel damage can be observed in severe cases such as eating disorders like Bulemia, anorexia etc. It is always a great idea to have a private and confidential conversation with your dentist.  Notably, acid-induced enamel erosion can also be evident during the first trimester of pregnancy, making it pertinent to inquire about these factors during routine dental examinations.

Many individuals experience an acidic oral pH if they consume late dinners, alcoholic beverages, spicy foods, or eat within one to two hours before bedtime, potentially leading to acid reflux. While such instances may go unnoticed, it is essential to pay attention to the development of unexplained tooth sensitivity, particularly to temperature and acidic or highly sweetened foods. In such cases, it is prudent to consult with your dentist and investigate the possibility of acid reflux-related symptoms.

As much as prevention is the first and foremost approach, we can also help minimize tooth damage with several toothpastes and other modalities...

More information to come next month!

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