Tooth decay is a common complication among individuals who suffer from poor health and suppressed immune systems. If you live with gastrointestinal complications, there can be a marked risk for complications associated with tooth decay for which you may not be prepared.
Gastric reflux disease, GERD, is a health complication that can have long term adverse effects on the gastrointestinal health of the person who suffers from the condition. While stomach complications and complications associated with esophageal health are quite common, there are also tooth decay issues that can begin to develop.
When visiting with your dentist, is it important to provide information about all of your health complications including those related to GERD. When GERD is not well managed, your tooth decay will often manifest as white spots on your teeth which represents a demineralization of your teeth due to gastric acids that have come back into the mouth and mixed into the saliva.
Our gastric stomach acids have a pH level that is very acidic – typically between 1 and 3. Therefore, if you have stomach acid that is regularly spilling into your esophagus and saliva, you can expect that your teeth will adversely be affected over a long period of time. Your dentist, therefore, will need to provide some health options for you in an effort to promote strong teeth in the long term.
To encourage healthy teeth when living with GERD, it is important to not only work to minimize your GERD complications but work to promote tooth health with prior diet and vitamin supplements. With calcium and vitamin supplements, you can often improve your bone health and this will, in turn, translate into better health in your teeth. The first step, however, is to speak with your dentist about your GERD symptoms and identify what the immediate signs of tooth decay may be. Without proper collaboration between your GERD health specialist and your dentist, you can expect there will be a greater risk for tooth decay and tooth loss in the long term.
GERD is a health condition that affects thousands of adults each year. While there are many heartburn and pain issues that affect GERD patients, tooth decay is also a leading cause of dental health concern that must be addressed. If you have white spots on your teeth, be sure to ask your doctor about the role of GERD and work to alleviate the complication quickly.
Sources: Heartburn & Reflux for Dummies, by Carol Ann Rinzler