Acid reflux is a common problem, and most people have probably experienced it at one time or another. However, the condition can also be chronic, and when this happens, the situation is more serious. Stomach acid is very acidic, and when it regularly flows up into your esophagus and mouth, it does more than just cause a bit of heartburn. This acid can wreak havoc on your oral health.

Tooth erosion

Stomach acid breaks down the food in your stomach, and when this strong acid comes into contact with your teeth, it starts to do the same thing. The outer layer of your teeth, the enamel, is strong, but it doesn't stand a chance against stomach acid. The enamel is only 2.5 mm thick at its thickest point, and beneath the enamel, you have very sensitive tissues. When these tissues are exposed, you'll be left with sensitive teeth. Tooth enamel doesn't regrow so any enamel you lose due to erosion is gone forever.

Tooth erosion affects nearly one-fourth of people with chronic acid reflux. Seeking treatment for your acid reflux is important, since it will halt the progression of erosion. Once your acid reflux is under control, your dentist can replace your missing enamel with restorations like porcelain veneers.

Tooth decay

Chronic acid reflux is one of the main risk factors for tooth decay; this is thanks to the erosive power of stomach acid. As the acid eats into your tooth enamel, it creates pits and grooves where food and plaque can accumulate. This provides the perfect starting place for a cavity to form. As bacteria eats the sugars in your food and plaque, acids are created, and these acids will eat even further into the pits and grooves. Eventually, the result will be a cavity that will need to be filled by your dentist.

Gum disease

Gum disease is an infection of the gums that develops due to poor oral hygiene, like forgetting to floss or not brushing your teeth thoroughly enough. Studies have shown that people with chronic acid reflux have a higher risk of developing gum disease. This is because stomach acid displaces saliva inside your mouth; saliva helps to keep bacteria under control, so without enough of it, bacteria can grow more easily.

Chronic acid reflux is much more than a burning in your esophagus. This condition can cause many problems in your mouth, so if you have chronic acid reflux, make sure to see a professional dentist, like those at Campbell Dental Centre Ltd, regularly.