By Rachel G. Horn for Live Right Live Well
Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus instead of staying in your belly where it belongs. Your stomach lining is designed to handle all that acid, but your esophagus is not. The result: burning pain. Chewing gum and sucking on hard candy can help because it causes you to produce more saliva. When you swallow this extra saliva, it dilutes the stomach acid and helps wash it back down into your stomach, explains Dr. George Fantry, a gastroenterologist and director of the University of Maryland’s Heartburn and Dyspepsia Program.
Fantry isn’t aware of any particular gum or hard candy that is better than others for easing heartburn, but he does recommend avoiding “anything with mint, like peppermint and spearmint,” since these have been shown to trigger heartburn in some people.
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