GERD and Oral Health


Raising your torso up a bit with a wedge-shaped cushion reduces the pressure on the LES and may ease nighttime heartburn. Wedges are available from medical supply companies. Don’t just prop your head and shoulders up with pillows, which can actually worsen reflux.

Smoking increases your risk for GERD! Smoking slows digestion and increases stomach acid, while it also limits salvia production – your body’s natural defense against stomach acid! Besides harming your esophagus, cigarette smoke also damages the digestive system and weakens your stomach’s LES muscle, which directly causes acid reflux. During acid reflux episodes, small amounts of stomach acid travel into your mouth and can damage the enamel (outer layer of the tooth) as well as the dentin (layer on teeth under the enamel and on the root surface of teeth). In addition, the stomach acid often irritates the lining of the esophagus.

The elevation should be 4-6 inches or so, but not high enough that you will slide down when sleeping. Professional singers with acid reflux should consider traveling with blocks in their suitcase for use in hotel rooms. Pregnancy will markedly increase symptoms of heartburn and sometimes throat symptoms as well. This is partly due to the space taken up by the growing infant.

Also try almonds, raw or toasted for GERD for immediate relief works for me every time. On the other hand I have been told mint gum might aggravate.

Just make sure to choose non-mint flavors, since peppermint and spearmint can relax the LES and exacerbate symptoms. Pick up cinnamon or fruit flavors instead.

Your dentist may notice tooth erosion or other oral signs. Other symptoms of GERD can include sinus infections, heartburn, difficult swallowing, cough, hoarseness and bad breath. Chewing gum can be an effective and natural remedy for acid reflux and heartburn. I’ve found Simple Gum’s ginger, cinnamon, and fennel licorice gum to be some of the best natural gum choices.

  • The research carried out at the UT Southwestern Medical Center and Dallas VA in US found that damage in patients with acid reflux diseases occurs through an inflammatory response prompted by secretion of certain proteins called cytokines.
  • Licorice contains properties that can coat and protect the digestive tract to promote healing and reduce acid reflux symptoms.
  • Being overweight also contributes to acid reflux; if you are overweight, it would help to lose weight.
  • “The worst thing you can do is eat and then go to bed,” says Vanagunas.
  • This can neutralize the acid in your stomach.
  • When too much pressure is placed on this muscular valve, acids can reflux through into the esophagus.

A common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, which is experienced as burning chest pain. Another symptom is regurgitation when a sour or bitter acid backs up in the throat or mouth. If you experience the symptoms of acid reflux more than twice a week, you may have acid reflux disease, also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). There are very real health risks associated with chewing gum and they are related to excess stomach acid. The action of chewing stimulates the cells lining the stomach wall to produce digestive (hydrochloric) acid.

Should Any Kids Chew Gum?

I then found that peppermint is at the top of the list for gerd sufferers. Spearmint seems to be okay for me, at least, and other flavors of sugarless gum help, too. Although the benefits of chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol for GERD are appealing, please caution your readers to beware having this substance in their household if they have pets, especially dogs.

I try to avoid chewing gum after meals, and that helps. I have tried this as a remedy for my reflux and it’s true that less food came back up my esophagus, but I also developed terrible gas pains. I already had IBS, but the gum seemed to make it much worse. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who has gastrointestinal problems in addition to heartburn. My first big faux “heart attack” gerd attack was after chewing a piece of instant burst peppermint sugarless gum.

Digestive enzymes aid in digestion by helping break down food into nutrients our bodies can absorb. Proper digestion reduces the chances of acid reflux and heartburn. In some patients with severe symptoms or complications of acid reflux, surgery can be performed for treatment. If appropriate, your physician will discuss this option with you.

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