Heartburn and cavities (tooth decay), tooth erosion, and tooth wear, asthma, ADD/ADHD

Quite frequently I get very puzzled looks from patients when I ask them if they have heartburn or have ever been diagnosed with acid reflux.  First, they’re thinking, “Why in the world is my dentist asking if I have heartburn?” and secondly they’re thinking, “What in the world would heartburn have to do with my teeth?”  Thirdly, they get even more puzzled if I ask if they suffer from asthma or anything like ADD/ADHD.  So what’s the connection among all these conditions, and why am I, your dentist, asking these questions?

First, when it comes to the question about ADD/ADHD, please refer back to my recent post that followed up on NPR’s reporting on Sleep Apnea and Behavioral Issues.  There’s some great information in there for parents.

Secondly, when it comes to heartburn and teeth, think about this: Just what is heartburn? It’s also known as Acid Reflux, and when it gets severe, it’s known as Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease, or GERD. It’s acid from your stomach, and what does acid from your stomach do?  The same thing that acid from any other source such as sodas, sucking on lemons or oranges, etc. – the acid literally eats away at the enamel of your teeth.  So yes…..if you have heartburn frequently, you are most likely also going to have many more cavities, see greatly increased/worsened wear on your teeth, probably will see increased gum inflammation.

So why do I also have ADD/ADHD and asthma in my post title?  Simple because heartburn/acid reflux/GERD may play a real role in both of these conditions as well, because they are also linked to sleep apnea.  While I could go into a lot of detail on the topic, there are others who have written it already, so I’m going to provide you the link to the Cleveland Clinic’s website relating to these topics (asthma & GERD), where you can read those extremely informative articles.

If you are concerned that you and/or your spouse or children suffer from these conditions, consider calling us for a consultation at 704-364-7069 or request an appointment through our website: Smiles by Payet Dentistry.

The Cleveland Clinic: Asthma & GERD

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