The link between your oral and overall health has long been proven through research: poor oral hygiene can lead to liver and heart complications.
Recently, studies have also found another link between oral health and bodily functions —gastrointestinal problems such as gastroesophageal reflux can cause dental corrosion and lead to dental caries. In this blog, we'll look at how issues in your stomach can lead to dental problems.
How do stomach problems affect your oral health?
It's noteworthy that not all stomach problems can affect your oral health. However, the most common gastrointestinal issues that can harm your dental health are mentioned below.
Your stomach uses hydrochloric acid to digest the food that you eat. Sometimes, after consuming a large meal, you may experience acid reflux in your mouth. The medical term for this condition is gastroesophageal reflux, but it's commonly known as heartburn.
The bad taste that you may experience due to heartburn can signify that the acids from your stomach have entered your oral cavity. Because these acids are more alkaline, they can cause dental corrosion and put your teeth at the risk of cavities.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a set of problems that can cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and infections in the intestine's innermost lining. One of the significant symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease is mouth ulcers and a swollen tongue.
However, doctors suspect that these oral conditions may not be caused by the disease but can be induced in the mouth by the side-effects of the medications used to treat IBD.
The open sores that develop in the inner lining of your stomach due to acid buildup are known as peptic ulcers. In severe cases, these may start to bleed, causing the patient much discomfort and pain. Some symptoms of peptic ulcers include vomiting, dark blood stools, appetite changes, and unexplained weight loss.
A study published in the Journal of Advances in Medical Science found that patients with peptic ulcers were more prone to tooth decay due to the acids released in the oral cavity during the condition.
How can I protect my teeth?
Some ways in which you can take care of your teeth and protect them from demineralization when you’re having stomach problems are:
· Drink plenty of water and chew sugar-free gum to aid saliva production. Saliva can neutralize the acids released in your mouth due to acid reflux.
· To avoid occasional heartburn, avoid eating 3 hours before going to bed.
· If you experience regular heartburn episodes, work with your physician and dentist to determine the best way to protect your oral health.
· Use fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash to increase the resilience of your tooth enamel.
To keep your teeth in perfect shape, don't forget to visit your dentist regularly. If you're looking for a dentist in Germantown, MD, connect with us at Advanced Dental Center.
We offer dental cleanings, teeth whitening, and fluoride treatments at affordable rates. Call us at 301-353-8890 for more info!