GERD: Can Heartburn and Acid Reflux be Dangerous for Your Teeth?

heartburn gerd tums antacid relief

We experience heartburn when acid escapes from our stomachs.  It travels up through the esophagus and into our mouths, putting both our teeth and health at risk.

Common symptoms include a burning sensation after you eat or at night, chest pain, chronic cough or sore throat,  difficulty swallowing,  or feeling like you have a lump in your throat.

The two major oral health concerns are:

Tooth Erosion: The exposure to acid can eat away at your tooth enamel, impacting the appearance of your smile and putting your teeth at risk for cavities and other dental problems. 

Esophageal Cancer: The acid traveling through your throat damages tissue, which can lead to cancer.  Oral and esophageal cancers are some of the most dangerous, making prevention even more important. 

If you have any symptoms of acid reflux or GERD, it is important to see your medical doctor for treatment and let your dentist know, as well. 

When it comes to your teeth and health, there is no such thing as just a little heartburn. 

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Could You Be at Risk for Oral Cancer and Not Know It?

young man with oral cancer hpv

When you think about risk factors for oral and throat cancer, you probably think about smoking.  Tobacco in any form puts you at a high level of risk, but there are more and more cases of people with these cancers who have never smoked.

Here is what you need to look out for:

  • HPV virus
  • GERD or acid reflux
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene- lack of dental care
  • Medications that impact your mouth or immune system
  • Chronic irritations from rough teeth, dentures, or appliances

Oral cancer screening is a routine part of your dental care here at Knoxville Family and Sedation Dentistry.  If you have not had a recent oral cancer exam, please do so.  It could save your life.

865.922.1613 Knoxville TN