Gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as GERD or acid reflux, is a common condition usually accompanied by symptoms such as heartburn, belching and an unexplained sour taste in the mouth. All indicate a possible excess of stomach acid entering the esophagus, the effects of which can also sometimes reach the oral cavity. This can result in the erosion of tooth enamel.
Oftentimes, however, patients may experience acid reflux without the presence of these telltale symptoms. This is known as "Silent GERD," and your dentist may be the first one to notice its effects. Dental erosion, particularly in teeth near the back of the mouth, may indicate the presence of GERD. Other signs may include sinus infections, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, cough, hoarseness and bad breath.
Patients diagnosed with GERD should follow their physician's instructions to control acid reflux. Treatment may include prescription medications, as well as dietary restrictions or other strategies. Talk to any of our helpful team members if you notice signs and symptoms of acid reflux. If you have been diagnosed with GERD, please inform us so that we may help to protect your dental health.