Vol. 5 Num 923 Sun. December 31, 2006  
Star Health

Teeth decay due to gastric juice

Heart burn commonly known as acidity or gastric problems develop from excessive secretion of gastric juice (mixture of hydrochloric acid, pepsin, intrinsic factor and mucus secreted by the cells of the lining membrane of the stomach to help the digestion of food) when the stomach is empty or from the release of gastric acid at large volume due other stimulus.

Gastric problems are common now-a-days. A vast majority of people of our country have been suffering from this problem, but most of them are unconscious or give less importance on this disease. They consider the problem very mild and think that it will recover automatically. Very often they take few anti-ulcerant drugs without any physician's concern.

As a result, the problem is solved for the time being, but due to the lack of proper treatment, it will not be cured completely and the patient will suffer for a long period of time.

At the same time, because of excessive or repeated acid secretion, ulcer may form in any part of the gastro-intestinal tract.

The most significant thing is - due to repeated acidity, vomiting or acidic vapor, some extent of erosion may be seen in both upper and lower dentition.

During the time of sleep, especially at night, this gastric juice or vapor occupy the oral cavity and due to its acidic nature erosion may develop on the tooth surface day by day.

If it is left untreated, color of teeth may be changed to brownish yellow after certain period of time and the patient may develop slowly very stubbing pain. It becomes severe rapidly. In this situation, when patient take any cold, hot or sweet food/drink or bite any type of hard food, instantly pain starts. This pain spreads throughout the affected (inner) side of the mouth. In that case pulpits may develop and those erosive teeth may break down mostly due to excessive erosion.

Severe ulcerative gingivitis and periodontal disease may developed as well as may form other irritating lesions all over the oral mucosa and tongue.

Solution is very simple, but belated or improper treatment may result in severe complications even like cancer.

First of all, consult with a gastroenterologist as well as with a dentist. Then necessary investigations should be done to explore the actual condition. In that case endoscopy, an (OPG) orthomo pentomo gram or may do an x-ray along with other investigations.

Treatment's success rate is high, but patient should take proper treatment in right time following doctor's advice very carefully for the best result.

The writer is a Medical officer (Dental) of HCDP, Rampura Health Care Center.