9 symptoms that you have “Silent GERD” and what that means to you

By Michael P. Sharp D.D.S. on December 28, 2016

Dr. Sharp, Dr. Mitchell and their hygienists recently attended a 2 day class with Dr. Jeffery Rouse, DDS, who explained a new model of reflux that can be divided into two categories based on location of the insult: esophageal reflux (affects throat and nasal tissues) and respiratory reflux (affects the upper esophageal sphincter).  Heartburn and digestive discomfort are associated with classic GERD, but laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), also called “Silent GERD” has different symptoms. It goes unnoticed in patients and often unseen in the medical field. We can be the first to detect both types of GERD based on the teeth, tissues and symptoms.

Symptoms of LPR—the Silent GERD

  • Hoarseness
  • Chronic cough
  • Frequent throat clearing
  • Mucus in the throat
  • Problems swallowing certain foods
  • Lump in the throat
  • Headaches
  • Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD)
  • Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS)


Symptoms of Classic GERD

  • Heartburn
  • Digestive discomfort
  • Males over 40, overweight
  • Obesity
  • Diagnoses of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)


Both forms of GERD are associated with airway obstruction and fragmented sleep. While a comprehensive medical evaluation is important to rule out pathology, dentistry has a place in diagnosing and even treating GERD.  

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