Acid reflux or GERD (GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease) occurs when acidic stomach fluids back up into your throat and mouth. It often leaves behind a bitter taste and a burning sensation.
Why is this important to your dentist? Long-term (chronic) exposure to gastric acid can result in erosion of your tooth enamel. Erosion can cause your teeth to become sensitive. It may also create grooves or notches in the sides of your teeth, or wear down your teeth. Your teeth may also look more yellow because the darker dentin color shows through the thinner enamel.
Treatment for acid reflux or GERD may require help from your physician, medications, and/or lifestyle changes. Normally, we would like the acid reflux to be controlled before starting to restore your teeth. Dental fillings are less affected by the acids than your dental enamel is, so often the tooth will wear away around the filling, leaving it looking like the filling has lifted out of your tooth!
If you think you might have acid reflux or GERD, check with your physician who can order tests to check for it.
Note: Information in this article is not intended to replace the clinical judgement of your healthcare practioners.
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who sees both adults and children.
1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd.
Lorain, OH 44053