An estimated 20 percent of Americans have gastroesophageal reflux disease. You may know it as GERD, pyrosis, acid indigestion, or heartburn. But you may not know that acid reflux can have a serious impact on your dental health. Dr. John Ravera helps patients in the Newport Beach, CA preserve their smiles, until there is a true acid reflux cure.
What is acid reflux?
The stomach produces gastric fluid. Stomach acid activates digestive enzymes that break down foods so they may pass through the digestive tract. The lining of the stomach secretes alkaline mucous cells, which essentially protect the stomach from digesting itself.
The lower esophageal sphincter is a valve at the entrance to the stomach. It automatically opens to let food in, then closes quickly. Acid reflux occurs when this valve does not work properly, allowing stomach acid to move upward. Since the esophagus, throat, and mouth do not have the same protection as the stomach, the condition can wreak havoc on the soft tissues and dental structures.
Do you have acid reflux disease?
Heartburn symptoms include burning pain in lower chest area, abdomen, stomach, or throat, as well as:
- Sour taste in the mouth
- Feeling like food is stuck in the throat
- Persistent hiccups
- Chronic sore throat
- Wheezing, hoarseness, or dry cough
- Dark stools
- Vomiting blood
- Unexpected weight loss
Acid reflux may be caused by a hiatal hernia, or can be aggravated by excess weight, large meals, eating just before bedtime, smoking, certain medications, and some foods and beverages. Pregnant women often complain of heartburn.
How acid reflux harms Newport Beach, CA smiles
Stomach acid erodes enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay. It also allows the dentin substructure to show through, so teeth look yellowish. You may have temperature or sweet sensitivity, or notice that fillings don’t look and feel like they used to. Dry mouth is a common side effect of acid reflux medicine, contributing to these issues.
Once erosion occurs, it is permanent. However, at regular checkups, Dr. Ravera is vigilant about looking for acid reflux dental issues. He suggests oral products and easy lifestyle changes to minimize harmful effects on teeth. He also offers a range of services to treat sensitivity, strengthen tooth enamel, and restore existing damage.
See Dr. Ravera before heartburn deteriorates your smile. Call 949-877-3606.