What Has Heartburn to Do with Dental Health?

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Do you have acid indigestion (heartburn)? Do you sometimes get an acidic taste in the back of your mouth or throat? If this happens more than a couple times a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD—and it can dissolve your teeth enamel.

GERD becomes an issue when the door of muscle at the end of your esophagus stays open or doesn’t close properly all the time, and digestive fluids flow back up into the mouth or throat. This causes the burning feeling in the chest and/or the bad taste in the mouth.

Beyond the discomfort, there are various health concerns that result from GERD when it goes untreated for a long period of time. Among these are cancer of the esophagus, ulcers and dental disease. Many times, your dentist will be the first to spot GERD due to the erosion that stomach acid does to tooth surfaces.

Besides a dentist, a gastroenterologist is a specialist you need to get in touch with to help treat the condition. Until then, take heed of the below advice.

-Contrary to what you might think, you should not brush your teeth if you experience a reflux episode. Enamel may be damaged more with immediate brushing. Gargle instead.

-Counteract the acid in your mouth by gargling with baking soda.

-Encourage the flow of saliva by chewing sugarless gum. Saliva neutralizes acid in your mouth.

-Use mouthwash and toothpaste to reduce the risk of enamel damage.

If you are concerned about GERD, call Dr. Jim Nored & Annette Gemp for more information and an evaluation. Please contact Crosby Dental Center to make an appointment at: 281-328-3569, or come by our office in Houston, Texas.