Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is commonly known as acid reflux. It’s a condition in which stomach contents leak backward into the esophagus. Acid reflux occurs when the ring of muscle where the esophagus meets the stomach isn’t working properly. It’s one of the fastest growing conditions for which patients seek medical attention and one that can ruin teeth.
In the early stages, acid reflux generally appears as heartburn or indigestion that becomes worse after eating or when lying down. The condition causes pain in the lower chest area. The pain of acid reflux can be so intense that people may think they’re having a heart attack.
Individuals with GERD may experience symptoms of asthma, wheezing and vomiting, along with a dry and persistent cough. Those with acid reflux may have chronic bad breath, soreness in the throat, laryngitis and tooth erosion.