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Stomach Pain of Woman

Often times, we tend to view overall health in segments. Thus, it may not seem that a problem in one area could have an effect on another part of the body. Your dentist in Memorial says that can be a costly misconception that limits the chances of recovering from illnesses and conditions. An example is the connection between your gastrointestinal health and dental wellness. As you read on, learn how the two are related.

Common Gastrointestinal Issues

Studies show that over 70 million Americans have some form of digestive issue, which can include such problems as gastrointestinal reflux disease (heartburn), irritable bowel disease (IBD), peptic ulcers and other disorders. These issues aren’t just relegated to the digestive system; they can also have effects on oral health.

The Gastrointestinal System and Oral Health

Your digestive tract serves as a link between your mouth and gastrointestinal system, and the health of each impacts the wellness of the other. Thus, it’s not sufficient to just focus on treating issues in one area. Instead, your wellness should be viewed from a more holistic standpoint.


The term ‘heartburn’ refers to the burning feeling in the chest or an unfavorable, acidic taste in the mouth. It comes about when stomach acids rise through the esophagus and re-enter the mouth. The acidic juices can cause the enamel (the hard, outer part of the teeth) to prematurely wear.


Two serious conditions fall under the umbrella of IBD – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Either of the two problems can make the typically uneventful process of digestion a more complicated matter.

Again, because of the connection between the mouth and digestive system, the aforementioned can contribute to the following oral health challenges:

  • Gingivitis
  • Dry mouth
  • Tongue inflammation

Issues Related to Peptic Ulcers

A peptic ulcer is a sore that can develop in the lining of the stomach, lower esophagus or small intestine. Unfortunately, some of the medications used to treat the disorder can contribute to oral health challenges. Some of the common side effects are dry mouth, black tongue or noticeable changes in taste.

What You Can Do

The key to getting relief is to communicate effectively, which simply amounts to keeping both your physician and/or gastroenterologist and your dentist in the loop about any treatments recommended by either of these health professionals. By doing this, you will position yourself to get the expert help you need so you can achieve excellent overall health.

About the Author

Dr. Mark Gray earned his dental degree from the University of Texas Dental School, and he has since gone on to provide over 30 years of expert care. Throughout his career, he hasn’t wavered in his commitment to provide the absolute best in care, which is why he has taken hours of continuing education and has also maintained professional affiliation with such organizations as the prestigious Spear Education Group and the Seattle Study Club. Dr. Gray takes a holistic approach to practicing dentistry, and he can be reached for more information through his website.