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Acid reflux?
Your dentist may notice before you do
Dr. Scott Chanin, DMD, FAGD

If you’ve been diagnosed with gastroesophageal acid reflux disease, or GERD, your dental health might be at risk  Most people recognize heartburn: that painful burning sensation radiating from inside the chest. Persistent symptoms, more than twice weekly, may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. But not everyone with GERD has the symptoms of heartburn. In fact, you may have GERD and not even know it

GERD causes stomach acids to back up into the esophagus and sometimes into the mouth. Individuals who have the disease are at risk for serious damage to the esophagus, including developing esophageal cancer. But they may not realize they are also at greater risk for tooth erosion and periodontal problems.

Patients who have been diagnosed with GERD should follow their physician’s instructions to control their reflux. Treatment strategies can include taking prescription medications; eating smaller meals and avoiding trigger foods like tomato, citrus foods, raw onions, spicy foods, chocolate, alcohol and coffee; and other coping techniques.

Dentists are often the first health care professionals who notice a potential acid reflux problem in a patient. Your dentist may notice tooth erosion or other oral signs. Other symptoms of GERD can include sinus infections, heartburn, difficult swallowing, cough, hoarseness and bad breath.

What can you do?
Loss of enamel is permanent and can increase your risk of tooth decay. Enamel is a protective layer on the outside of your teeth. GERD can cause other long-term damage, such as irritation and inflammation of your esophagus, which makes you more susceptible to esophageal cancer.

That’s why getting a regular oral exam from a dentist is so important — your dentist may find early symptoms of a potentially serious problem before it progresses. In fact, more than 90% of systemic diseases have oral manifestations that may be detected during an oral exam by a dentist.

Prevent GERD
You can lower your risk of acid reflux by eating smaller meals, staying upright after eating and cutting out smoking and alcohol. Changing your diet can also help. Trigger foods and drinks include tomatoes, citric fruits, chocolate, coffee, garlic, onions and meals that are spicy, acidic or high in fat. Losing weight, especially in the abdominal area, can also go a long way in 

reducing GERD.

If you think you might have GERD or acid reflux call Dr. Chanin at Diamond Dental Associates, and we can help you prevent the destruction to your teeth that GERD causes.  We can help you control the effects of acid reflux and protect your dental health.so you can keep your beautiful smile.

 

908-838-0004 | Diamonddentalassociates.com

Diamond Dental

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