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Dental erosion is more likely in children who have symptoms of chronic acid reflux than those without reflux symptoms, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.
"These findings demonstrate that we really need to start looking for dental erosions in pediatric patients with chronic acid reflux and integrate proper dental care into their treatment regimens," said Dr Melvin Heyman, chief of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at UCSF Children's Hospital and the study's senior author.
The study compared the dental health of patients aged 9 to 17 with symptoms consistent with acid reflux disease to those with no symptoms. The children with acid reflux were almost six times more likely to have substantial evidence of teeth erosion than those without.
The researchers are not yet certain what causes children with reflux to develop the erosion, and they say this will be a point of future study.
Shawn Watson of the about.com guide to dentistry writes, "It is obvious that detecting chronic acid reflux in children is key to preventing the long term damage on the teeth."
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