You may ask the question, why is my dentist asking about this serious problem? Reflux can cause esophageal cancer which has become America’s fastest growing cancer. Another fair question is, isn’t this a medical problem? How can my dentist check for acid reflux? Dentists ask because the most common signs of acid reflux are post-nasal drip (15%), chronic throat clearing (14%), “lump in the throat” sensation or hoarseness (12%), sore throat (11%), heartburn (10%), chronic cough (9%), difficulty swallowing (8%), choking episodes (7%).
But some people who have acid reflux, do not notice having any of the above symptoms. They are classified as having “silent reflux.” In all these cases the earliest signs of the destructive effects of acid reflux will be seen in the mouth. Bio-corrosive wear on the teeth will be observed as cupping out on the occlusal and incisal surfaces and as smooth wear on the root surfaces. Additionally, irritation to soft tissues in the mouth may create swelling in the posterior throat and on the tongue.
Take the quiz below from Jamie Koufman, MD, FACS, a leading clinician, researcher, and education. It is reproduced from her book Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook and Cure, (2010).
If you score 15 or more, contact us at Andrew P. Galante, DMD, MAGD Phone Number (908) 561-3939 or schedule an appointment today.