Gastrointestinal Disorders vs. Oral Health

Did you know that certain gastrointestinal issues can negatively affect your oral health? According to the American Dental Association, diseases like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) wear away the enamel on the teeth. Other gastrointestinal conditions that affect oral health include peptic ulcers, and inflammatory bowel disease. If you suffer from any sort of gastrointestinal condition, make sure to notify your dentist during your dental appointment.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD)

GERD, also known as acid reflux is a condition that slowly releases gastric acids into the mouth throughout the day. Symptoms often associated include:


  • Heartburn
  • Chest pain
  • Throat pain
  • Nausea
  • Bad breath
  • Burning sensations
  • Bad taste in the mouth


The gastric acids released into the mouth sit on your teeth and wear away the enamel on your teeth. Protective measures can be taken in order to prevent enamel erosion, including (but not limited to):


  • Prescription oral rinses
  • Fluoride treatments
  • More frequent dental hygiene visits


Peptic Ulcers

When you use antacids and/or bismuth to treat stomach ulcers it can cause a condition called black hairy tongue. Additionally, you may suffer from dry mouth. Dry mouth poses a threat to your oral health as saliva is necessary to keep bacteria at bay. Ask your dentist for suggestions on keeping your oral health symptoms to a minimum.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

This condition includes diseases such as colitis and Crohn’s disease. Patients that suffer from these conditions may experience the following symptoms:


  • Sores in the mouth
  • Swollen cheeks and gum tissue
  • Fungal infections in the mouth (thrush)


If you suffer from IBD, tell your dentist to make sure that they are aware of your current health status and medications. Your dentist may prescribe an oral medication or oral rinse to clear up any infections.


Preventive Measures

Depending on your specific health needs, preventive measures may differ. In most cases, patients with gastrointestinal (GI) disorders benefit from fluoride treatments to protect their enamel. Sometimes dentists may prescribe medications and/or oral rinses to treat any existing infections. In general, treating the underlying condition is the most effective way to get rid of the symptoms that it causes. Therefore, ask your gastroenterologist for advice on managing your GI condition.


Advanced DDS is a premiere dental practice equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to ensure that all of our patients get the best care possible. Schedule your dental appointment at 516-825-1100.


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