Acid reflux, GERD, and heartburn are common complaints for many patients today. There are a variety of reasons why someone may experience these common health concerns from genetics to medications to lifestyle habits.
Dr. John Hendricks and Dr. Morgen Gardner want to remind patients of the impacts that acid reflux and related disorders can have on your dental health. Understanding how your physical health can affect oral health is the key to living a healthy life and maintaining a functional smile.
Acid reflux occurs when acids from the stomach that are there to aid in the digestion of food make their way back up into the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation of the lining of the esophagus over time. Typical symptoms include belching, heartburn, bad breath, nausea, difficulty swallowing and regurgitation of food.
What most patients do not realize is that the acid making its way up the esophagus is ending up on the surfaces of the teeth and causing an erosion of enamel over time. This can lead to increased tooth sensitivity, tooth decay and eventually damaged teeth as they become weakened.
During a routine preventive care visit to our Bluffton, SC dentist office, Dr. John Hendricks and their staff will take the time to look for signs of enamel erosion and discuss possible causes with you in order to recommend the appropriate treatment.
If you are being treated for acid reflux or GERD, mention this to Dr. John Hendricks at your next visit so that we can be aware of your overall health concerns and educate you on how they can impact dental health. There are also certain medications that can lead to acid reflux, eventually causing tooth enamel erosion. It is important to also discuss any regular medications you are taking during your visit with us.
Maintaining strong teeth and healthy gums is the foundation of a lifelong functional smile- an important part of a good quality of life!