Chewing Gum After Meals Can Stop Acid Reflux in Its Tracks
- I have studied the effects of chewing gum on reflux, and the data show that chewing gum after a meal — or alternatively, sucking on a hard candy — can stop acid reflux in its tracks, because gum chewing increases saliva production, the acid-neutralizing salivary bicarbonate concentration AND increases swallowing rates. This drives the GI system forward helping to prevent backflow, reflux.
- Gum chewing is an excellent “adjunctive” partial treatment for reflux. It really helps, particularly people who have symptoms (e.g., hoarseness, heartburn, cough, etc.) after meals.
- Recommended are sugarless fruit or bubble gums, no mints. Cinnamon and ginger are also good. If you can find it, a gum that contains bicarb is best, available at some health food stores.
- For people who don’t want to chew gum for aesthetic, dental, or TMJ reasons, sucking on a hard candy does the same thing and works well. Non-mint, sugar-free is recommended.
Reference: Smoak B, Koufman J. Effects of gum chewing on pharyngeal and esophageal pH. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 110:1117-1119, 2001.View full article PDF