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How Acid Reflux Impacts Oral Health

Dentist and patient looking at x-ray charelston sc

The oral- body connection has taught us a lot about our overall health and well being.  What goes on in your gut can have a direct impact on the condition of your teeth and gums, which impacts the health and well being of your entire body.

Approximately 33% of adults in the US have a condition known as Acid Reflux or GERD.

GERD is a common medical condition that may cause damage to the health and integrity of your teeth and gums. Understanding the oral- body connection can help you understand how acid reflux can cause damage to your mouth. Charleston, SC dentists Dr. Agatha Lynn and Dr. James Dickert believe that patient education and preventative dental checkups can minimize the impact GERD has on their patient’s smile.

What is GERD?

Acid reflux is the result of stomach acids being forced up into the esophagus. The acids in your stomach are useful in breaking down food and bacteria, but when displaced, can cause irritation and inflammation of the lining of the esophagus. These acids can enter the mouth and coat the teeth and gums. Over time, the acid begins to erode the tooth enamel and can also irritate the soft tissues of the mouth. Prolonged GERD can also lead to a condition known as dry mouth. Dry mouth is linked to an increased risk for the development of cavities in adult patients. Tooth decay, cavities, and even tooth loss are possible if GERD goes untreated.

Know The Signs of GERD Charleston, SC

Knowing the signs and symptoms of GERD is important and can enable patients to seek early intervention before damage occurs. Tooth erosion is irreversible, but if caught early your dentist can work with you to protect the teeth and gums from further damage.

If you are experiencing any of the common signs or symptoms of GERD listed below, be sure to discuss your concerns with Dr. Lynn or Dr. Dickert during your next visit. If you are overweight or a smoker, you may be at a higher risk for GERD. Medications, genetics and certain lifestyle habits may also increase your risk of developing Acid Reflux.

  • Excessive Belching
  • Frequent Heartburn
  • Habitual bad breath
  • Daily Nausea
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Regularly Regurgitating Food
  • Choking Episodes
  • Tooth Decay

At the heart of our Charleston, SC dental practice is our patients. Our dental care team is focused on early detection of conservative treatment and comprehensive dental care. Your West Ashley family dentist will take the time to consult with each patient as an individual, providing personalized dental care to support your long term oral health and physical well being.