Gastro-oesophageal acid reflux disease (GERD) is a problem that causes stomach acid to wash back up into the oesophagus and sometimes into the mouth. If you have this problem then your risk of developing oesophageal cancer is higher, but these acids can also cause gum problems and tooth erosion.
Dentists often see people with signs of GERD and who have tooth erosion or other oral problems. Other potential symptoms of GERD include bad breath, difficulty swallowing, heartburn, sinus infections or having a persistent cough. If you have been diagnosed with GERD, then you may have been prescribed medications to help control acid reflux. It’s also important to follow your physician’s advice on how to control this condition, perhaps by consuming smaller meals or by avoiding certain trigger foods. These foods can include spicy foods, raw onions, citrus fruit, tomatoes, chocolate, coffee and alcohol.
If you think you might have GERD, then please talk to your dentist or GP.