Home > Mind & Body Health > How Chewing Gum Can Relieve Heartburn

How Chewing Gum Can Relieve Heartburn

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 14 Apr 2015 | comments*Discuss
Heartburn Chewing Gum Acid Reflux Gerd

If you thought that chewing gum was simply a nasty habit popular amongst school-children and loud Americans, think again.

Several years ago research showed that chewing certain types of sugarless gum can cut down on tooth decay, now research has shown that chewing gum can actually relieve heartburn.

This is good news for people who suffer from heartburn and have found no relief, or limited relief, from various other remedies. Now they can not only feel better after eating, but have fresher breath as well!

What is Heartburn?

The term “heartburn” is a bit misleading, because it actually has nothing to do with the heart, nor is it dangerous. It is simply a type of digestive problem, and while it can be painful and distressing, it is not really a cause for concern.

Heartburn is caused not by a problem with the old ticker, but by stomach acid coming into contact with the lining of the oesophagus. This often happens after the sufferer has eaten a fatty meal, or when he or she has eaten certain foods.

Heartburn can be a one-off, or it can be chronic. It is usually caused by:

  • A weakened lower oesophageal sphincter, which is the valve that keeps the stomach acid where it belongs – in the stomach. People who suffer from this have what is known as GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • A hiatal hernia, which allows acid reflux to occur more freely.
  • Irritation caused by eating certain foods, such as chocolate or fatty foods, or taking specific medications.
  • Pressure on the area, either because the sufferer is wearing tight clothes, is obese, or is doing activities that cause pressure.
  • Smoking, because people who smoke produce 50 per cent less saliva, on average, than people who do not smoke, which means it takes longer for the oesophagus to clear away the acid. Also, smoking relaxes the ring around the oesophagus, which allows more stomach acid to come up.
  • Stress, which increases the production of stomach acid.

How Chewing Gum Stops Heartburn

The explanation is so simple it's hard to believe. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which can help flush out the stomach acid and neutralise it. If it sounds too good – and too simple – to be true, consider the evidence.

In a pioneering 2003 study conducted in Kings College, London, 21 people with GERD ate a high-fat meal on two days and were asked to chew gum for thirty minutes on the first or second day. Those who chewed the gum had lower levels of acid in their stomachs.

In another study published in 2005 in The Journal of Dental Research, 31 patients ate fatty meals and then were asked to chew sugarless gum for half an hour. The results showed that the patients who chewed gum had much lower levels of acid in their stomach than those who did not.

And a similar study in 2001 showed that people who chewed gum after eating a fatty breakfast had more heartburn relief than those who did not, for up to three hours.

Other Ways to Relieve Heartburn

If chewing gum does not help, there are other ways to relieve heartburn. Many sufferers cut down on fatty foods and other foods that affect their digestive system, take antacids, eat smaller meals and eat slowly, lose weight, wear clothes that are not too tight, and sleep with their bed propped up at the head end.

If you have tried all these home remedies to relieve your heartburn and nothing works for you, see your GP. This is important not only to finally free yourself from the discomfort this condition can bring, but to rule out anything more serious. Good luck!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • kin
    Re: Lavender: a Natural Antibiotic and More
    We are asking for the price of; ANTI-BACTERIAL LAVENDER THICKNESS 5CM THICKNESS 5 pcs each also include cost…
    11 October 2017
  • Baraka
    Re: Wild Yam: Is it a Scam?
    I have been using wild yam tablets and I do not experience menopausal symptoms that my friends in their 50's do. My sister who has a…
    4 July 2017
  • Lady T
    Re: Can Garlic Treat Athletes' Foot?
    I've used garlic w. Olive order for about 3 nights straight and it is working tremendously! And my feet were awful but they…
    1 July 2017
  • Jo G
    Re: Essential Oils to Avoid
    Can I use WHITE Angelica as a diabetic? I know the book says not to use Angelica, but my book is missing information for White Angelica,…
    18 June 2017
  • Mia
    Re: Essential Oils to Avoid
    I have high blood pressure and love Eucalyptus oil. Are fragrance aromatherapy scents that are concentrated just as bad for HBP. Also if…
    4 May 2017
  • Wondermama
    Re: Health Benefits of Magnetic Bracelets
    My step father recently bought me a magnetic bracelet and it works well for me. I have 2 children. My daughter is…
    3 May 2017
  • The remedy lady
    Re: Essential Oils to Avoid
    Pure essential oils are considered medicine and must be use with care. Apply them diluted sparingly with education and care. As a…
    6 April 2017
  • SafeAlternativeMedicine
    Re: Essential Oils to Avoid
    none - Your Question:I recently have been suffering with a congested chest and mixed eucalyptus oil in 4 drops in with coconut oil and…
    22 March 2017
  • none
    Re: Essential Oils to Avoid
    I recently have been suffering with a congested chest and mixed eucalyptus oil in 4 drops in with coconut oil and drank it. I had…
    19 March 2017
  • jill
    Re: Essential Oils to Avoid
    I take prescription medication for blood pressure, cholesterol and acid reflux. I have knee osteoarthritis and have been told to use…
    5 March 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SafeAlternativeMedicine website. Please read our Disclaimer.