Oral Health Information

Oral Care and GERD (Acid Reflux)

Many Canadians experience the discomfort that heartburn offers on an ongoing basis.  Also known as acid indigestion, heartburn is a common symptom of chronic acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition that can have negative impacts on your oral health.  

WHAT IS ACID REFLUX AND GERD?

When muscles of the lower esophagus relax, stomach acids are allowed to flow upwards into the esophagus and mouth.  These acids cause inflammation and irritation of the areas the acid comes into contact with. If it progresses further, it develops into GERD, a condition where the esophageal muscles are too relaxed and allow the the stomach acid to continuously flow upwards.  This causes corrosion of the lining in the esophagus and creates an unpleasant burning sensation.  

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

GERD can be associated with numerous symptoms, but in some cases can also be difficult to detect.  Heartburn, trouble swallowing, burning sensation, chronic coughing, nausea and vomiting, belching, sore throat, regurgitation, erosion of tooth enamel and tooth sensitivity, chipping of teeth and discolouration, and bad breath.

HOW DOES GERD AFFECT YOUR ORAL HEALTH?

In addition to potentially causing esophageal cancer, GERD can erode the tooth enamel away.  Enamel erosion begins when it is surrounded by an acidic environment of 5.5 pH or lower. Stomach acid has a pH of less than 2.0, making it a prime candidate for damaging enamel.  

TREATMENTS AND LIFESTYLE MODIFICATIONS

Gerd can be diagnosed with a number of tests, including pH monitoring, endoscopies, and X-rays.  It is a chronic condition, however, can be treated with lifestyle modifications and medications.  Over the counter antacids and H2 receptor blocks help to reduce GERD in conjunction with weight loss, wearing loose clothing, not eating 2-3 hours before bed, not smoking, and avoiding trigger foods like chocolate, coffee, alcohol and spicy foods.  

PROTECT YOUR TEETH AGAINST ACID REFLUX

Proper oral hygiene is the first line of defence against teeth damage caused by GERD.  There are things you can do beyond brushing and flossing that will help to protect your teeth.

  • Visit your dentist regularly and request an enamel evaluation.
  • Use toothpaste that is designed for dentin sensitivity. 
  • Don’t brush your teeth for one hour after consuming acidic foods.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after acid reflux episodes. 
  • Dissolve baking soda in water and rinse after acid reflux occurs. 
  • Ask your dentist for fluoride treatments to strengthen your teeth
  • Wear a mouthguard prescribed by your dentist specific to protecting your teeth against acid.

If you think that GERD is a problem you might have, speak with your dentist of physician.  

About Our Clinic

Welcome to Signal Hill Dental Centre, a general dental clinic located in SW Calgary. Our team is dedicated to providing our patients with honest and caring dental treatments so that they are able to achieve and maintain optimal oral and overall health goals.

At our clinic, our team strives to offer our services that make visits to the dentist convenient for you. This includes:

  • Clinic hours open 7 days a week
  • Extended hours (early mornings, evenings, and weekend)
  • Direct billing insurance
  • Same day emergency dental appointments
  • Comparable and up to date pricing
  • Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT) Certified

We offer a range of dental services including general cleaning, emergency dentistry, children dentistry, dental repairs, Invisalign teeth straightening, Botox for TMJ/TMD and more. We offer Swiss technology Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT), which comes standard in all hygiene cleaning appointments.

The core of our clinic values is focused around providing great customer service. We treat our patients as if they were a part of our own staff or family. Our knowledgable team constantly ensures continuous communication and education so that our patients are comfortable through each procedure.

Our SW Calgary dental clinic is accepting new patients. If you would like to meet with one of our Dentists or book a consultation, please contact us and we would be delighted to arrange an appointment.

We look forward to serving you.

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