Dental Implants to Reduce the Dental Health Issues Related to GERD

Dental Implants to Reduce the Dental Health Issues Related to GERD

Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) is caused by problems with the valve between the esophagus and the stomach. When functioning normally, the valve opens to allow the exit of food from the esophagus into the stomach. However, if you suffer from GERD, your valve opens inappropriately to allow the partially digested food in your stomach to flow backward into your esophagus.

GERD is more common or severe among certain people, such as the following:

  • People who are obese
  • Individuals who eat late at night just before bedtime
  • People who indulge regularly in spicy foods
  • Patients who take narcotic medications, such as codeine
  • People who take sedatives, such as Valium
  • Individuals with a hiatal hernia
  • Sleep apnea suffers

Effects of GERD on Your Dental Health

Not only does GERD cause great amounts of gastric and esophageal discomfort, it can have a detrimental effect on your teeth and gums. The acid from the stomach contents can cause regular inflammation of the gum tissues, inciting gum disease and subsequent bone loss.

Your teeth are particularly susceptible to decay when you suffer from GERD due to the chronic exposure to acid. Like bacterial acid that is excreted by oral bacteria as a byproduct of their digestion, the stomach acid associated with GERD dissolves the tooth enamel to cause decay. Additionally, the teeth of GERD patients may be especially sensitive, since the protective enamel coating is no longer in place to protect sensitive dental nerves. As a result, GERD sufferers may be more prone to avoid routine dental hygiene efforts, such as flossing or brushing.

Dental Implants to Reduce GERD-related Oral Health Issues

Affecting about seven million Americans, GERD is a popular condition. In fact, according to statistical data, about 60 percent of adults experience GERD each year. Additionally, up to 30 percent of adults have symptoms that recur each week. Thus, a large percentage of the population suffers from oral health problems that are related to GERD. The use of dental implants can help.

Dental implants can be used to replace teeth that must be extracted due to the ravages of GERD. In addition, they can address several of the other dental health issues associated with the condition by influencing the following:

  • Jawbone Stimulation–Once a tooth is lost due to GERD, the jawbone no longer receives the stimulation needed to maintain its density. However, since a dental implant rests in the bone, as you chew, the implant stimulates the jawbone to continue to produce new bone cells. Jawbone deterioration can cause an aged, hollowed facial appearance.
  • Restored Chewing Ability– A dental implant also restores your ability to chew your food properly. Some GERD patients may not chew their food thoroughly due to the discomfort associated with sensitive or decaying teeth. This inadequate mastication can result in more pronounced GERD symptoms.
  • Reductions in Tooth Decay– Dental implants are covered with prosthetic dental crowns that are made of materials, such as porcelain or porcelain-over-metal, which are not susceptible to tooth decay. Thus, a GERD patient experiences no more dental pain at the implant site.
  • Less Dental Sensitivity–Unlike natural teeth, dental implants do not contain dental nerves. As a result, the dental sensitivity associated with GERD is reduced by the installation of an implant.

If you are a GERD patient who wishes to have dental implants installed, you may be concerned about discomfort during the implant procedure. However, Dream Dental oral surgeons install dental implants only after the sufficient application of local anesthesia. In addition, sedation dentistry can also be used if you are emotionally uncomfortable during dental procedures or suffer from dental phobias.

In some cases medical insurance pays for dental implants with this condition.  Dream Dental is one of the few practices that successfully bills medical insurance companies for reimbursement.

To learn more about dental implants and how they can make your life with GERD more comfortable, call to schedule a consultation. 


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