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Gastric Reflux

June 17, 2019

Did you know that about 1 in every 5 Australians experience reflux at least once a week? Maybe you are one of those people.

So what is reflux? The stomach produces natural acids to help to digest the food you eat. Reflux occurs when these acidic contents flow back up through the food pipe (the oesophagus). Reflux can cause tooth decay and gum disease, and you may not even be aware that you are experiencing it until your dentist notices some telling signs in your mouth.

Gastric reflux erosion lesions

What effect does reflux have in the mouth?

Reflux can wear away the outer layer of the teeth (the enamel) on the inside surfaces and the chewing surfaces. This also called erosion. When the enamel starts to wear away, you may begin to notice sensitivity to hot and cold drinks, the teeth becoming more yellow in colour, some of the fillings may stick out more, teeth may change shape, and you may start needing more fillings!

Another indirect effect is caused by the reflux medications, which can make you produce less saliva. Saliva is needed to cleanse the teeth and keep them strong, so less saliva can mean your teeth are more prone to developing cavities.

Gastric reflux erosive lesions filled

Tips to protect your teeth

  1. Seek advise from a GP to get the reflux under control.
  2. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  3. Avoid lying down after meals.
  4. Avoid smoking and alcohol.
  5. Chew sugar free gum to get the saliva flowing
  6. Don’t brush your teeth immediately after experiencing reflux.
  7. Use a fluoride mouthwash daily.
  8. Visit your dentist regularly so that any dental issues can be addressed.

– Dr Esther

Need an Appointment?

If you’d like to book an appointment with the dentist at Seymour Dental then call us in Dulwich Hill, Sydney on (02) 9564 2397 or
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Next week

Different Types of Infections in the Mouth – Part 2 – Viral & Parasites