Acid reflux and heartburn may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. But not everyone with GERD will feel such symptoms. In the absence of heartburn symptoms, the first indication that a person may have GERD is the erosion of the enamel on the molars or on the backside of teeth.
Your dentist may be the first to notice symptoms of the disease during an examination.
If enamel loss is detected, your dentist may refer you to a specialist to confirm the condition, who then may prescribe treatment recommend lifestyle changes specifically for the treatment of GERD, such as avoiding acidic foods.
Loss of tooth enamel is permanent, and if left unchecked, may lead to the rapid decay. In addition to loss of enamel, GERD can do other long-term damage to your body, such as irritation and inflammation of your oesophagus, which may be a precursor to oesophageal cancer.
Medical literature proves that more than 90 percent of systemic diseases have oral manifestations – signs that may be detected during an oral exam by a dentist. Thus a regular oral exam from a dentist is important, as your dentist may find early symptoms of a potentially serious problem.