Acid Reflux/Tooth Decay

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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is also known as gastric reflux or acid reflux disease.

This chronic condition is caused by the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus. It can occur when the small ring of muscle, called the esophageal sphincter, has weakened and doesn’t properly close to prevent acids from coming up from the stomach.

Stomach Acid

Since the stomach acid comes up and reaches the mouth, it can demineralize and damage the enamel on the teeth. The damage usually happens on the lingual, or tongue-side, of the teeth.

Some common symptoms of GERD include:

  • Persistent heartburn
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Dry mouth

Dry mouth​

Dry mouth can lead to increased levels of bacteria and plaque in the mouth, which can ultimately cause tooth decay. Patients often suck on lozenges or sugary mints to alleviate dry mouth or the burning sensation. These mints also add more sugar to the saliva, which can lead to increased decay. It’s important to maintain excellent oral hygiene habits to combat the symptoms of acid reflux as well as side effects of certain treatments.