Problems With Teeth, Could GERD Be Underlying Problem?

Question: I take good care of my teeth, but I'm always having problems with them. Is it possible that the cause could be stomach acid from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)?

Answer: Dental complications from untreated gastroesophageal reflux disease is quite uncommon. Patients typically present with more common symptoms such as heartburn or regurgitation and now with the efficacy of newer therapies and the safety of medications such as proton pump inhibitors, it is rare to see dental complications from severe reflux.

However patients that have long standing reflux, typically at night while lying down, can actually have dental problems which may not be an issue recognized. A careful history and a physical examination will often reveal signs or symptoms of severe reflux -- such as irritation in the esophagus or irritation in the back of the throat.

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