Skip to content

Heartburn/GERD Health Center

Select An Article
Font Size

Effects of Uncontrolled Heartburn

(continued)

Voice and Throat Problems

Acids from GERD can affect the throat, leading to hoarseness and laryngitis. Some people, particularly those with very severe acid reflux, have reported voice changes. On a positive note, voice and throat problems tend to respond very well to treatment for GERD.

Dental Problems Due to Reflux

When harsh acids make their way into the mouth, they can wreak havoc with tooth enamel. A number of studies have noted that people with GERD have more dental erosion than normal. The condition can also lead to bad breath and an increase in saliva production.

Heartburn Complications in Children

Infants and children can also develop heartburn and other symptoms of GERD. Although they might not be able to express exactly what they're feeling, they can eventually develop many of the same complications as adults if the condition isn't treated. Infants with severe reflux may fail to feed properly. This, in turn, leads to poor growth. If they aspirate stomach acids into the airways, babies can develop recurrent pneumonia. Some researchers have even suggested that sudden infant death syndrome might be related to a blockage of the airways due to reflux.

Avoiding Complications of Reflux

Before you worry that your heartburn is leading you straight down the road to esophagitis or esophageal cancer, you should know there are several treatments available. These treatments can both ease your heartburn and reduce your risk for complications.

A gastroenterologist can use a thin scope called an endoscope to look at your esophagus and diagnose your condition. Treatment for GERD usually involves medications and lifestyle interventions. On rare occasions, however, surgery may be needed to relieve a blockage or prevent the acid from backing up.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on August 29, 2014
1|2
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Woman eating pizza
How it starts, and how to stop it.
man with indigestion
Get lifestyle and diet tips.
 
woman shopping for heartburn relief
Medication options.
man with heartburn
Symptoms of both.
 
digestive health
Slideshow
Heartburn or Heart Attack
Article
 
heartburn
Article
Top 10 Heartburn Foods
Video
 
Is it Heartburn or Gerd
Video
digestive myths
Slideshow
 
Extreme Eats
Slideshow
graphic of esophageal area
Article