GERD, or gastroesophogeal reflux disease, is characterized by frequent heartburn, and has been known to cause damage to the esophagus. What many people don't realize is that the gastric acid can actually be harmful to your teeth and gums, as well.
The gastric acid that a person regurgitates when they have GERD can cause erosions of the tooth enamel, weakening the teeth and making them susceptible to further damage. The incidence of dental erosions is about 5 to 10 times greater than that of the general population, which indicates that the presence of GERD is contributing to the tooth damage.
Patients with GERD are likely to suffer from dry mouth as well, and some medications for the treatment of GERD can contribute to this problem. Dry mouth allows bacteria to breed, which can increase cavities and tooth decay.
Let your dentist know if you are being treated for acid reflux disease. Dr. Hurley can do a number of things that can help protect your teeth, such as designing a mouth guard that can help protect your teeth at night, when reflux is typically at its highest, or prescribe fluoride treatments or gentler toothpaste that won't be as abrasive on your teeth.
Dr. Hurley will also monitor your teeth closely and proactively recognize the need to replace any damaged fillings. If erosion is severe, we can discuss restoring the look of your natural teeth using porcelain crowns or veneers.