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If you experience heartburn (aka acid indigestion) or taste stomach acid in the back of your throat more than twice a week, you may have a condition known as GERD–and it can damage your teeth.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) becomes a problem when the closure at the end of your esophagus stays open, or doesn’t close properly all the time, and digestive juices flow back up into the mouth or throat. This causes the burning feeling in the chest and/or the bad taste in the mouth.


Besides the discomfort, there are various health concerns that result from GERD that goes untreated for a long period of time. Among these are cancer of the esophagus, ulcers and dental disease. Many times, your dentist will be the first to spot GERD due to the erosion that stomach acid does to tooth surfaces.


Besides a dentist, a gastroenterologist is a specialist you need to get in touch with to help treat the condition. Until then, take heed of the below advice.


-Contrary to what you might think, you should not brush your teeth if you experience a reflux episode. Enamel may be damaged more with immediate brushing. Gargle instead.


-Counteract the acid in your mouth by gargling with baking soda.


-Encourage the flow of saliva by chewing sugarless gum. Saliva neutralizes acid in your mouth.


-Use mouthwash and toothpaste with fluoride to reduce the risk of enamel damage.


If you are concerned about GERD, call Dr. Brent Bitner for more information and an evaluation. Please contact Cottage Grove Dental to make an appointment at: 541-942-7934, or come by our office in Cottage Grove, Oregon.