1.24.17 in General
Healthy Mouth Sounds- Gastro-esophageal reflux
Tum- Tum Tum Tum! You know, the “cure all” for all that heartburn we Americans have. It is estimated that Americans spend 2 billion dollars per year on antacid tablets. Now what is the problem?
Well, on the surface, the problem is heartburn hurts, especially when we eat “wrong” and lie down. The solution to the problem is, chew some very basic tablets to offset the stomach acid! Simple, right? Not so fast.
This is a perfect example of how we often view health problems and their solutions. So let’s start by being honest.
The symptom that tells us we have a problem is heartburn. The problem is we are over-producing stomach acid, and spilling it on our esophagi and mouths. The reasons both of these things are happening is multifold.
We produce too much stomach acid because of stomach infections, use of certain drugs, the foods and drink we consume, development of ulcers, in response to stress, and for other reasons. The good news is that the stomach is built to contain and withstand those potentially harmful acids. The bad news is we can change the way our stomachs are suppose to work, by weight gain, inactivity, poor timing of food intake, and over use of medications.
As you can see, if the above reasons are the cause for acid spilling into our mouths, then the solutions should be an attempt to change the problems at the source.
Things like weight loss, exercise, minimizing medication intake, and prudent dietary routines will address stomach acid activity at its source.
At Family Dental Care, during our comprehensive examinations, we often see signs and hear of symptoms consistent with acid reflux disease. Certain patterns of tooth wear are caused by the acid from the stomach eroding enamel. Often we will notice that wear of enamel is occurring in a location that usually doesn’t get wear from mechanical forces. This is true of erosion we see on the tongue side of lower back teeth. Patients may not even have been aware that they had evidence of stomach acid reflux, and our tooth findings led to halting the damage to the tooth as well as referring them for treatment of gastro-esophageal reflux. Now that is wellness.
Let’s keep figuring out ways to prevent and eliminate disease, instead of treating it.
So, stay tuned in and keep smiling. Dr. W.