Gastrointestinal Disorders

Definition

Acid reflux is a chronic digestive disease that occurs when acid from the stomach moves into the oesophagus. A common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, which is experienced as burning chest pain. Another symptom is regurgitation when a sour or bitter tasting acid backs up in the throat or mouth. If you experience the symptoms of acid reflux more than twice a week you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD).1

Certain foods and beverages may heighten the risk for acid reflux such as citrus, tomatoes, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, coffee, tea, carbonated drinks and spicy or fatty foods.2

During acid reflux episodes, small amounts of stomach acid travel into your mouth and can damage the enamel (outer layer of the tooth) as well as the dentine (layer of teeth under the enamel and on the root surface of teeth). In addition, stomach acid often irritates the lining of the oesophagus.3

1 http://www.aihw.gov.au/how-common-is-diabetes

2 http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/oral-health-and-hygiene/diabetes-and-oral-health.html

3 http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/what-is-acid-reflux-disease