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Digestive Problems? You Might Have GERD

Posted under Gum Disease on February 11th, 2014 | No Comments

If you’re like most people, you probably overate during the holidays and paid the price with a mild case of heartburn.  It is not abnormal to suffer occasional heartburn, as this is nothing more than a brief regurgitation of a small amount of gastric acid.  If you only get this type of burning feeling once in a while and it is mild, then you might not have a cause for concern.  However, if the feeling of heartburn is frequent, persistent, or severe, then you might have something more serious.

In particular, you might have GERD, which stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease.  Commonly known as acid reflux, GERD is more than a simple case of heartburn.  If you have GERD, then the acidic contents of your stomach are backing up into your esophagus, causing inflammation or even damage to your esophageal lining.  If left untreated, GERD can cause damage to the esophagus.  Besides heartburn, symptoms of GERD include nausea and vomiting, so you’ll want to be on the lookout for those signs.

Only a medical doctor is qualified to diagnose and treat GERD, but a dentist can detect possible signs of this condition.  In fact, dentists are often the first person to see the symptoms of GERD, especially when the feelings of heartburn are mild.  Stomach acids can erode your teeth’s enamel, and if this is caused by GERD, the erosion will typically occur in the enamel of the molars or on the back sides of the teeth.  Upon detection of the enamel erosion, the dentist may choose to refer you to a specialist to determine if the underlying problem is GERD.

Early detection of GERD is just another example of the importance of getting frequent dental checkups.  Everyone should have a qualified dentist, such as Dr. Andrew Huang, to check your teeth regularly for abnormalities or potential problems.  The team at Santa Teresa Dental will gladly check your teeth and give you the best recommendations for prevention or treatment.  To set up an appointment with the experts at Santa Teresa Dental in Morgan Hill, CA, simply call (408) 782-6568, e-mail us at, or request more information at  We are always very happy to hear from you!