Acid reflux from chronic heartburn may damage teeth

Acid reflux from chronic heartburn may damage teeth

Many people have experienced that painful burning sensation radiating from inside the chest known as heartburn.  Symptoms that persist, more that twice a week may be a sign of gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD).  When the esophageal sphincter that separates the stomach from the esophagus allows acid to seep out of the stomach, this acid contacts the backside of teeth.

The first component of the tooth that is attacked by acid  is the enamel. Enamel is the thin outer layer of the tooth and is the strongest tissue of the human body.  Enamel helps protect your teeth from daily use of chewing, grinding and clenching.  Once its gone, it never comes back. Under the enamel lies a softer tooth structure known as dentin.  Dentin is a yellower color and once exposed can lead to increased cavities and sensitivity.

Repetitive exposure to acid begins to thin and dissolve away the protective coating of the teeth, leaving them noticeably weakened. When the enamel wears away, the sensitive inner layer of the tooth is exposed, this can lead to additional serious complications with the health of your teeth and mouth.

Patients who are known sufferers of acid reflux should see their dentist to have their teeth and overall health of their mouth evaluated before notable problems begin.  The dentist will be able to check areas of concern, assess the effects of the acid reflux and recommend ways to control any additional damage


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