If you've been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease, often referred to simply as GERD, your oral health may be in danger, and even intervention to prevent the condition from doing further damage isn't going to be able to undo the damage that has already occurred. Luckily, porcelain veneers represent a good solution.

What is GERD?

GERD is a digestive disorder that occurs when the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES), a ring of muscle between your oesophagus and your stomach, is unable to fully prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the oesophagus; it is even possible for stomach contents to flow back into the oesophagus. When this occurs, the lining of the oesophagus is irritated, causing GERD.

GERD can cause a burning sensation in the chest, problems swallowing, coughs, and sore throats. If left untreated, it can even lead to a narrowing of the oesophagus, the development of sores, and an increased risk of oesophageal cancer. It can also cause significant damage to your teeth.

How Does GERD Damage Your Teeth?

When stomach acids are released through the oesophagus, they can eventually enter the mouth. These stomach acids can be even worse for your teeth than the bacteria produced in the mouth; in fact, GERD has been shown to have a significant effect on tooth erosion. Acid will affect all your teeth evenly, wearing them down to make the enamel softer. This makes your teeth more vulnerable to sensitivity, discoloration, cavities, and periodontal disease.

Why Are Porcelain Veneers a Good Option?

GERD can be treated in a number of ways. Unfortunately, your teeth may already have been significantly eroded by the time that this happens. In this case, porcelain veneers are a good solution since they completely cover the existing teeth. This means that the teeth can be returned to their original colour, and you'll also reduce your risk of developing oral diseases and cavities.  

Better yet, porcelain veneers are resistant to stomach acid. If the lifestyle changes or medications that you take to combat GERD don't completely prevent the problem, teeth that are unprotected by a set of veneers will still be at risk, even if a far lower amount of stomach acid is entering the mouth. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, cannot be damaged by stomach acid.

If you have been diagnosed with GERD in the past and are worried about the state of your teeth, try speaking to your dentist as soon as possible about the possibility of having veneers installed. They'll protect damaged teeth and prevent further damage from occurring, all while improving your smile.