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How Acid Reflux affects Oral Health

Posted on 5/9/2022 by OM
How Acid Reflux affects Oral HealthAcid Reflux, also known as Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, causes pain in the center of the stomach. Widely known as heartburn, it has a damaging effect on the gullet and the mouth. The article discusses how it happens and its impacts on oral health.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux involves a malfunctioning valve that separates the stomach and the esophagus. The primary role of the valve is to let food into the stomach and prevent digested food from going back to the esophagus. Failure of the valve to perform its role leads to acid reflux; hence the digested food and acid are moved backward. Painful and uncomfortable feelings characterize this condition. The stomach is acidic, while the esophagus and mouth are said to be neutral. In severe cases of acid reflux, a person's pH in the mouth drops to an acidic level.

Effects on the Mouth

The enamel is the strongest layer of the teeth. Acid erosion is one o the effects of acid reflux. Low pH in the mouth could lead to erosion of the teeth's enamel. The gradual erosion makes the teeth thin and wears off much faster, making the teeth develop a yellow appearance.

Additionally, the teeth become very weak and crack or, even worse enough, have cavities. The condition increases the risk of tooth decay. The acids make it easy to accumulate bacteria on the teeth, which then penetrate the enamel due to corrosion by the acid. This eventually makes the enamel soft and offers fertile grounds for the bacteria to thrive.

How to protect Teeth

Our dentist advises on taking general oral health seriously. Brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste is essential to remove plaque from the mouth. Regular visits to our dentists could help with cleaning the mouth. Our dentists will perform advanced checkups and diagnose the severity of the effects of acid reflux. Contact us for professional dental advice and oral cleanings.

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Smile More Spokane Family Dentistry maintains a dental blog to help educate and inform our patients about topics that affect their oral health.
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