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How Your Dentist Can Tell That You Might Have Acid Reflux

Did you know that GERD, or gastroesophageal acid reflux disease, can negatively affect your oral health?

It’s pretty common for people to experience burping to release some extra air they may have consumed during a large meal. However, for people with acid reflux, there is an excessive amount of air and acid that will travel back up the esophagus (the tube that connects to your stomach) to the mouth.

This acid can lead to tooth decay or tooth erosion, specifically on the back of your teeth. If your dentist notices that you have eroded enamel behind your teeth, then they may determine that you are showing signs of having GERD and will recommend that you get treated for it.

Normally, your saliva can combat the acid that enters your mouth, but people with acid reflux may not be producing enough saliva. It’s important that you not only treat GERD if you have it, but to also protect your teeth to prevent tooth erosion, cavities, and other periodontal diseases.

To produce more saliva, you can try chewing on sugar-free gum (look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance) and drinking more water throughout the day. To protect your enamel, look for desensitizing toothpaste, or work with your dentist on receiving certain procedures like fluoride treatment or sealants to help prevent further oral issues.

Once you visit your doctor to get treated for GERD, you should keep up with their recommendations and medications to decrease the acid reflux. Try eating smaller meals, exercising to lose weight, removing alcohol and other acidic beverages or foods from your diet, and/or limiting garlic and spicy foods. You should also visit your dentist regularly to ensure that you maintain good oral health.

GERD isn’t the only disease that has oral and dental manifestations. Visiting your dentist is good not just for healthy teeth and gums, but to also help patients identify other health issues, including sleep apnea.

Make your appointment now with Dr. Stephen Coates and his dental team, servicing residents and families in Long Beach, CA and surrounding areas. Book now online, or call us at 562-434-6414.

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