How to reduce the impact of reflux esophagus on oral and dental health?

The stomach naturally secretes sour gastric juice in a certain amount to help digest food, sometimes a small portion of these acids may move to the top of the pharynx until it reaches the mouth , but saliva in the mouth can neutralize this acid without any major health problem .

And in some pathological conditions such as reflux , i.e. the acid reflux from the stomach into the esophagus in a way that increases its access to the pharynx and mouth (especially if they happen repeatedly), then this becomes a warning indicator for oral and dental health because of its negative impact on them, this article deals with a group Answers include the nature of these negative effects and how to prevent them.

Negative effects of esophageal reflux on oral and dental health

Gastric acid reflux into the mouth and gums and teeth erodes the enamel layer, which unfortunately is almost permanent, resulting in:

  • Increased sensitivity of the teeth to cold, hot drinks, etc.
  • The color of the teeth changes, so they become yellowish.
  • Repeated tooth decay , which increases the risk of losing it.
  • In severe cases, cavities may appear on the surface of the teeth.
  • The appearance of an abscess in separate areas of the gum.
  • Change in the shape and color of dental fillings ( dental filling ).

How esophageal reflux affects oral and dental health

There are a group of factors that cause tooth damage due to esophageal reflux, the most important of which are:

  • Stomach acids reach the mouth in a sufficient amount and for a longer period of time than usual , which leads to contact with the teeth sufficient to remove part of the enamel layers that envelop the teeth, which leads to the removal of part of the minerals in the teeth, and is considered a major part of its composition, and thus these teeth become vulnerable To further decay and calcification.
  • These acids negatively affect the tongue, the roof of the throat and the inner side of the cheeks as well.
  • Reflux causes dry mouth , as the amount of saliva secreted decreases so that it becomes insufficient to neutralize the acid , in addition to preventing its effective role in getting rid of small food particles and killing bacteria, all of which leads to tooth damage.
  • Medicines used to treat reflux also cause dry mouth .

Therefore, dentists have documented a group of oral problems, the main cause of which is esophageal reflux such as recurrent tooth decay that leads to their loss, oral ulcers, bacteria spread, and chronic dry mouth.

Image result for dental health

Causes of reflux

There are many reasons that lead to an increase in the amount of stomach acids that are due to the mouth (reflux). These include:

  • The presence of a pathological condition in the stomach , such as gastroenteritis , stomach germ , weak stomach lining or expansion of the stomach opening, among others.
  • Frequent use of pain relievers and antibiotics , especially when taken on an empty stomach before eating.
  • Excessive consumption of some foods that increase acid secretion in the stomach , such as spicy, fatty or caffeine foods, and this condition increases when sleeping or lying down after eating it directly.

Therefore, it is advised that people who suffer from recurring heartburn (more than two to three times a week) should consult a gastroenterologist, to provide the appropriate diagnosis and treatment before developing a case of severe esophageal reflux.