GERD Can Cause Dental Erosion

Acid reflux refers to a condition in which the acidic contents of the stomach move up and into the esophagus. This results in the uncomfortable feeling of heartburn in the chest in many cases, which happens to many people on occasion. But chronic or severe heartburn may mean you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Constant regurgitation of this acid can damage your esophagus over time. But lingering acid that reaches your mouth will also hurt your teeth. The acid eats away at the enamel, the outer layer of the teeth. This enamel erosion results in permanent dental damage that cannot regrow or restore itself.

GERD is a leading cause of dental erosion. So if you have a history of acid reflux, you might notice this dental damage. However, a study published in General Dentistry suggests that the inverse is also true: in many patients, dental erosion may be the only noticeable symptom of GERD.

GERD does not always present with recognizable heartburn, but the acid can still harm your smile. Patients with severe enamel erosion therefore may want to speak to their doctor about a potential diagnosis of GERD. Read on to learn more about GERD and its relationship with dental erosion.

GERD Can Cause Dental Erosion

Symptoms of Enamel Erosion

As tooth enamel thins, you can see symptoms that point to damage to your teeth. For instance, you might see dark dental discoloration or a translucent appearance in the teeth where enamel has eroded and weakened. You might also feel tooth sensitivity or pain as underlying nerves in the teeth become exposed without the protection of enamel.

But not all symptoms of dental erosion become noticeable until the case is severe. Therefore, you should visit your dentist for routine oral exams so that they can identify this dental concern and intervene before it advances to irreversible damage.

Treatment Options for Dental Erosion

Eroded tooth enamel cannot regrow on its own. But your dentist may help you restore dental health by replacing lost enamel. For instance, the dentist may use a dental crown, a cap that covers the entire surface of a tooth, to shield weakened enamel and ensure continuous protection for the tooth.

This crown will seal into place with dental cement and improve the tooth’s appearance and function while preventing further harm to the tooth. With proper care, it can stay in your smile for fifteen years.

You should also seek treatment for GERD in order to avoid further enamel erosion. If you suffer from enamel damage despite GERD treatment, you might need to adjust this treatment to better manage your condition and protect your smile. Speak to your doctor about your symptoms and GERD treatment plan.

Do not ignore signs of enamel erosion or acid reflux. Treatment for this disease will prevent serious dental concerns. You may manage GERD with lifestyle changes or certain medications. Learn more about GERD, dental erosion, and preventative dentistry by calling your dentist today.