The Link between Heartburn and Oral Health
Heartburn, also known as acid indigestion is a burning sensation in the chest. It is triggered by the regurgitation of gastric acid from the stomach into the oesaphagus and is something that is common.At times, you might suffer after overeating. However, in most instances it is an indication of a bigger problem, for instance gastroesophageal reflux disease also known as GORD. While heartburn may easily be dismissed as a minor problem, it is one of the few serious complications that can have a negative effect on oral health. There is actually a relationship between heartburn and oral health. This is something that many people may not be aware of.
So How Can Heartburn Damage Your Teeth?
People don’t usually get surprised to learn that the frequent existence of gastric acid in their oesaphagus may cause harm to those tissues where they feel pain. However, many may be surprised to realize that stray gastric acid is capable of even travelling up to the mouth, significantly increasing the pH of the saliva.Dental enamel is not created to be resistant to highly acidic stomach fluids. As such, the moment saliva becomes too acidic, tooth enamel can start to dissolve, and this can lead to dental erosion.
In the early stages, dental erosion can be detected by increased sensitivity to tempreture or sugary foods. It becomes noticeable in the form of staining, dents and cracks on the tooth surface.
The worst thing is that there are some people who tend to experience acid indigestion even without the tell-tale feeling of heartburn, which is at times referred to as “silent reflux.” In this case, the oesaphagus and teeth might be possibly suffering the impact of the increased pH without a person’s knowledge. In such cases, the dentist is usually the first person to guess that a person is suffering from GORD.
What Should Be Done About It
The enamel is the teeth’s protective coating and although it is strong, once it is damaged it cannot grow back. The moment gastric acid exposes the tooth by removing this protective covering, the teeth become more susceptible to decay. This may call for reconstructive dentistry so as to protect teeth from additional damage as well as future cavities.
It is easy to disregard oral health from the overall health of your body. But did you know that your oral health has as much impact on your health just as any other part of your body? This is the reason why it is recommended to see a dentist who really considers oral health to be part of overall health.
If you are experiencing GORD symptoms, it is important that you speak to our dentists at Eternity Dental about it for effective treatment. This will prevent additional damage to your tooth enamel and save you from the costly and inconvenient ordeal of dental rehabilitation or restoration.
Do not hesitate to call or contact us online today to schedule an appointment.