A dentist is devoted to caring for your teeth, gums and jaw. Why would a dentist bother with a digestive disorder like acid reflux? Unfortunately, the acids involved in this stomach condition can wreak havoc on the health of your smile. If your teeth are under constant attack from acid reflux, there are some things your dentist will want to do to protect them.
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux is a digestive disease that involves a malfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is the valve at the entrance of your stomach that opens and closes as food passes through. When the LES doesn’t close fully or opens too often, stomach acids can escape and enter the esophagus. Symptoms typically include a burning sensation in the chest, commonly known as heartburn. What patients may not realize, however, is that those potent stomach acids often travel far up the esophagus and enter the mouth, which poses threats to your dental health over time.
The Trouble with Stomach Acids in Your Mouth
Bad breath and discomfort are just minimal risks of stomach acids lingering inside your mouth. The impact of these acids on your pearly whites can be significant. In fact, those who suffer from chronic acid reflux may find themselves getting frequent cavities or suffer from sensitive or discolored teeth.
Dental decay is caused by bacteria that create acids as part of their metabolism, and these acids leach the minerals out of your teeth creating cavities that the bacteria can invade. Not only can you suffer from decay, but other problems related to enamel erosion can also exist, such as teeth sensitivity or yellowed teeth (the next layer of your teeth are not as white as the outer layer.)
Let a Dentist Help
The more times you experience acid reflux during the day, the greater your risk becomes for dental problems. At the office of Dr. Mitzi Morris, we can typically tell if you are suffering from this stomach disease by examining the condition of your teeth. Not only do we encourage patients to seek treatment for acid reflux or GERD, but we will also take additional measures to protect your smile from this disruptive digestive condition.
Don’t let your smile suffer because of your stomach, contact Dr. Morris in Roswell today.