Oral Health Group

Mystery Solved: Acid Reflux and the Oral Cavity

September 20, 2016
by Gloria Alban, DDS, RHN

I am a retired dentist who has a passion for preventative dentistry and preventive medicine. I recently became painfully aware of the ramifications of acid reflux and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) on the oral cavity.

I developed severe GERD late last year. Unfortunately, complete understanding of the difficulties experienced by patients comes best through direct experience. I look back at many of the patients I worked with throughout my 23 years practicing dentistry and think that I wish I had known then what I understand now.


I have put together this article to help dentists and their patients understand how GERD is creating many dental problems and also the best way to fix them. I hope you will take a few minutes to read this article because I believe the information can help you change patients’ lives and also reduce the frustration of treating patients whose oral health seems to be deteriorating in spite of excellent dental care.

Acid reflux or GERD affects over 50% of adults and 37% of young people. 1 It occurs when the contents of the stomach end up in the esophagus and oral cavity as a result
of inadequate closure of the esophageal sphincters. The pain of heartburn is a symptom in only 10% of cases while others may experience:

• Post-nasal drip
• Hoarseness
• Sore throat
• Throat clearing
• Chronic cough
• Difficulty swallowing
• Choking
• Asthma-like wheezing and symptoms
• Chest pain
And many other symptoms….

Nocturnal reflux is very common and extremely damaging since hydrochloric acid and the enzymes of the stomach, especially pepsin, stay in contact with the esophagus and oral cavity for hours. Many people experience silent reflux and do not realize that some of their symptoms are a result of stomach acid.

Medical doctors prescribe Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to reduce the amount of acid secreted in the stomach and to eliminate the symptoms of GERD. Although symptoms often improve, PPIs are not able to stop the progression of GERD. A Danish study of 10,000 patients showed that taking PPIs may increase the risk of heart attacks and esophageal cancer. 2 Another study showed that PPIs may increase the risk of dementia. 3 PPIs can be important for a short time (ideally four to eight weeks) but must not be relied on long term to treat GERD.

Diet and lifestyle changes are the best way to reverse the course of this disease.

Oral Manifestations

When I had my first experience of acid reflux, I was shocked by what I felt. I woke up the first morning with a mouth full of sour acid. It took several days of research, trying different suggestions and antacids, and seeing my doctor to begin to improve the problem. By then, my teeth were extremely sensitive, my gums and tongue felt raw and my throat was sore constantly.

I began to think about some of my patients who had constant sensitivies, chalky enamel and rampant decay and I knew that I had missed the diagnosis of GERD. I had also missed helping them to preserve their teeth and heal their disease.

Oral symptoms of GERD may include any of the following:

• Sour taste
• Dysphagia
• Excess salivation
• Pain on swallowing
• Tooth sensitivies
• Generalized mouth pain and irritation
• Demineralization of enamel (chalky looking first)
• Excessive erosion of enamel – may be located on the palatal surfaces of the maxillary teeth initially
• Chronic decay

“Early recognition of surface changes is essential. Initial signs include the first stages of erosion with chalkiness and loss of lustre.” 4

Dentists must be aware that these symptoms and many others can be indicators of GERD and that patients are not aware of stomach acid contributing to these problems.

The Cure

There are many ways the dentist can help their patient suffering with GERD to protect their mouth and esophagus. Here are a few suggestions that can make an immediate

• Eliminate all soda pop completely (regular and diet). Pop has been acidified since the 70s and this may be a contributor to the epidemic of GERD 5
• Stop all night time eating. No food or drinks (other than small sips of water) after 7PM or four hours before bedtime
• Eat three meals a day and two snacks. Avoid processed, fatty and acidic foods
• Use a wedge pillow for sleeping and/or raise the head of bed six inches
• Drink Alkaline water. This water neutralizes pepsin which is the enzyme that damages the esophagus 6
• Walk, especially after meals
• Work with a naturopath or nutritionist to identify sensitivities and triggers to establish a diet that works for the person. Problem foods are highly individual and must be determined for optimal health

Suggestions for Patients for the Teeth and Oral Cavity

• Use a baking soda toothpaste with fluoride. Rub a dab over your teeth with your finger and then rinse with water several times a day. Do not brush your teeth when your mouth feels acidic as this contributes to enamel loss
• Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash or use a fluoride gel daily
• Avoid eating acidic and sugary foods- eliminate your triggers and sensitivities to eliminate GERD
• Have regular dental checkups, X-rays and cleanings
• Consider a nightguard to protect teeth from wear due to bruxism

The best long term solution for GERD is a combination of diet and lifestyle changes.

When I saw my doctor and gastroenterologist with my severe symptoms of GERD, I was prescribed medication and sent home with a page of information about the proper diet. The medication helped somewhat but I needed to have support to test and incorporate the lifestyle changes that would lead me to healing my illness. Having a nutrition degree and a great deal of experience in lifestyle changes, I began to read and research the problem of GERD.

Three months later, I was able to eliminate PPI medications and have learned to control my acid problem daily. It has not been easy but the process has helped me to improve my health dramatically.

We as dentists, owe it to our patients to notice the problem and provide the information and support they require to improve their GERD. Dentists are probably in the best position to help patients understand why they are having “teeth problems” related to GERD. As trusted professionals, dentists can recommend medical, nutritional and lifestyle referrals to heal their patients’ stomachs, esophagus and oral health issues caused by acid reflux and GERD.

1. Koufman, Jamie. Dr. Koufman’s Acid Reflux Diet; Katalitix Media; USA, 2015
2. Rodriguez, Jorge E, The Acid Reflux Solution; Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, 2013
3. Gomm W, von Holt K, Thomé F, et al. Association of Proton Pump Inhibitors With Risk of Dementia: A Pharmacoepidemiological Claims Data Analysis. JAMA Neurol. 2016;73(4):410-416. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.4791.
4. Hvid-Jensen, F., Pedersen, L., Funch-Jensen, P. and Drewes, A. M. (2014), Proton pump inhibitor use may not prevent high-grade dysplasia and oesophageal adenocarcinoma in Barrett’s oesophagus: a nationwide study of 9883 patients. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 39: 984–991. doi: 10.1111/apt.12693
5. Ranjitkar, S., Smales, R. J. and Kaidonis, J. A. (2012), Oral manifestations of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 27: 21–27. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2011. 06945.
6. Roesch-Ramos, Laura; Dental erosion, an extraesophageal manifestation of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Institute for Medical-Biological Research, 2014 http://scielo.isciii.es/pdf/diges/v106n2/original3.pdf
7. Vincent W. Wang, MD, PHD and Mohammad Wehbi, M.D;Understanding Acid Reflux and Its Dental Manifestations; www.dentistryiq.com.

Dr. Gloria Alban graduated from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry in 1978. She worked in her own dental practice in Toronto until 2001 when she retired due to health issues. As part of her healing, she became a Holistic Nutritionist in 2010. Dr. Alban now works in association with the Spark Institute in Vaughan, Ontario – a clinic devoted to preventive medicine and the natural treatment of digestive disorders, eating disorders, anxiety and depression. In her free time, she volunteers as a grief and crisis counselor with the Toronto Distress Centre and enjoys yoga, hiking and cooking for her family.

RELATED ARTICLE: Prosthodontic Treatment of The Severely Worn Dentition

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101 Comments » for Mystery Solved: Acid Reflux and the Oral Cavity
  1. Guy says:

    What you have experienced Gloria is vary mild in comparison to many. Elevating the head of your bed by 4 inches, and sleeping on your left side will stop liquid refluxates from progressing to your esophagus , but will not stop the fumes from causing perpetual histamines from dripping from your oral cavities. It is even worse when they extend to the whole side of your face into your ears. Using Sensodyne, and constantly drinking green tea without sugar protects my teeth, and helps with clearing the mucus which I frequently choke on. When not drinking tea or water I perpetually sniffle to the point of distraction to anyone I meet. So they don’t think I’m weird, I tell them in advance why I do it, and what causes it.

    • Lisa says:

      I have the gas fumes that invade my sinuses, ears, eyes and mouth. My teeth feel like they have spacers in between all of them pushing them so much so that they feel like they don’t line up with my bottom teeth. I have no liquid reflux. I have silent reflux and it’s all fumes. Anyway to stop the fumes?

      • Ben Legg says:

        Hi Lisa. I have the same as you, burning in my sinus and around my eyes. Sore dry eyes to. I have a hiatal hernia so as long as I have that I will always have LPR. only thing that’s really ever worked is gaviscon advance. But it has to be the advance version. Are you in the US or the UK?

        • Sandra says:

          Hello Ben, I have just found your comment of this sight about LPR…

          I have been diagnosed with LPR and its terrible, I have had an GASTROSCOPY and the notes say O oesophagus, small Hiatus Henria!!!!!!

          Can you have the Hiatus Henria removed??

          It would be great if you could reply…. Thank you Sandra from Australia

        • Tamy says:

          For the LPR there are exercises that can tighten back the Sphincter in the stomach so that the acid/fumes don’t get out. Also, if you had a whiplash to your neck or have neck issues, consider contacting a good Chiropractor that is aware of Neurology and is trained to treat the delicate area of the neck and try your best to fix your neck. Not all Chiropractors are aware of this either, so you need to find one who knows about this and will guide you through without just cracking here and there without understanding first (had that experience). Remember: the nerve responsible for closing the Sphincter is in the neck! Not many people know this, please share it with as many people as possible so that others too can heal.

          • Pauline Miles says:

            Hi I have had sour burning in my mouth for seven years. Had many tests showing reflux but PPI,s don’t stop it. This drives me mad.

    • Jack says:

      So you believe sleeping to one side better than flat (at upward angle, of course)? Also, is your tea decaf? Caffeine seems to a trigger for me.

  2. Malka says:

    Night guard eliminates nighttime reflux. My dentist was lecturing me about my tiny teeth from grinding. About 3 months ago I started using my mouthguard. After 20 years of painful acid reflux I no longer have any nighttime symptoms. Thanks to Dr Robert Davies in Stayner Ontario. I hope this helps others it’s changed my life

  3. Jeanie says:

    How long after starting a PPI would I expect to see my gums improve? Thank you.

  4. Siuox says:

    Hi, recently diagnosed after 1 year of dealing with this. Can this affect the tongue causing it to be dry and slightly “fat” or slightly “swollen” ?
    Thank you. 🙂

    • Hi I have the same feeling with my tongue. Did you find out what was causing it?
      Thank you

    • sally sassine says:

      Hi. i have the same problem with soft palate pain and irritation for 10 months. i am exhausted. any help ?

      • Harish Neve says:

        Hi my tongue felt swollen and palate felt like muscles were irritated and loose type, many times i had sensations i cannot explain but are very irritating..no doctor was able to help me..they all said its just in my mind which is not. The medications i took for over a year..the symptoms stayed for over 13 months before slowly going away, unfortunately after 8-10 months the symptoms are back..last 2 days i felt dry behind tongue and weird sensations of palate and lingual area, i hope this is not back again..cuz if it is, i have not found any cure..this time i am going to try warm water and saline water use with gargles and drinking. One thing i know is it goes away in time..might take many months but it does goes away as well as comes back. I wish doctors knew this.

    • Harish Neve says:

      Yes..see my reply on sally, many ppl feel this and doctors were absolutely had no idea on how to help me with this, It stayed for around 13 months before eventually going away..but now it came back again since 3 days, i believe certain medications or conditions cause dryness in lingual and behind tongue area therby triggering this sensations along wiyh feeling of swollen tongue, doctors mistake it with anxiety as anxiety also has same symptoms..but i dont have anxiety..this is also a symptom of gerd since i have gerd i can tell. Doctors were unable to help me, i am going to try warm water gatgles and saline water this time..i wish u recover from this ..so do i.

      • terri says:

        I have the same issue for the last 4 months only thing doctors say is take a PPI. What PPI did you take as I been taking pantrolazole for 3 months and no success?
        Thank You,

    • terri says:

      Hi, did you find a solution to you issue as I have the same problem with my tongue and throat. Doctors don’t seem to know and just say take a PPI.

    • Sharon Walker says:

      I have this same problem.what is it call.

      • Barbara June Roberts says:

        I started having problems with acid reflux in August of this year now I have slient reflux my nose stays plugged up my eyes and nose burn so does my ear. Being treated for acid reflux, ppi only works for a few hours, this stuff is bad how can you stop it from happening. Bad taste in mouth sore mouth, all and all miserable. Why can’t they fix it so none of us go through this. Sorry this probably did help you, but at least I know I’m not the only one with this awful stuff.

    • Grace kavanagh says:

      Red rooster and kfc cause severe acid reflux phlegm gag reflux thick mucus it’s bad for any type of reflux

  5. Sherry Dotson says:

    This article has really helped me because I am dealing with acid reflex badly right now and reading this article has helped me out alot and I am going to try this what the doctor has shared because I want to feel better thank you so much for sharing .

  6. Harriet says:

    It has been a terrible experience dealing with GERD. The acid consistently flows through to my mouth which has affected my oral cavity. A part of my tongue is slightly raised, inner cheek sometimes raised and pressure on my gum which is affecting my dentition. All these effects are on the left side of the mouth. Almost anything I eat is a trigger. I’ve been on PPI for over a year. Please what should I do next?

    • Cindy Heyward says:

      What gel do you recommend? I had purchased the sensodyne Pro enamel toothpaste today….

      • Sangeeta Tulsiyan says:

        I also have the similar problem and following works for me –
        The problem is everyday I have to do and there is no escape. But it really helps –
        1. Morning regular exercise for 30 mins. I constantly keep on getting the burps while exercising.
        2. Fried food is s strict No
        3. Minimum intake of sweets
        4. Regular brushing of teeth in morning and night along with warm water gargles with salt and baking soda.

        I will also try some of the things mentioned in this article. Thanks for sharing.

    • Fel says:

      Hi Harriet, I’ve been having the same problem. Here’s a video I found on YouTube that might help https://youtu.be/hzC95NphH5w

      I still didn’t do what he advised yet, but I will soon. Hope you get better.

    • Bilal Jameel Ahmed says:

      Hello harriet , sorry to hear this but i too have exactly the same problem , almost everything i eat is triggering and acid still comes back and usually in the morning my throat becomes slightly block i dont know what to do?

    • Kelly says:

      For gawd’s sake GET OFF THE PPI. That does NOTHING to rectify the situation. Acid reflux is a symptom of an H. PYLORI infection, which means you could actually have LOW levels of stomach acid…hence the food remains in your stomach. PPI’s just make this worse.

      Treat the h. pylori with natural antimicrobials, consider iodine supplementation (which also helps produce healthy levels of stomach acid) and you’ll feel better.

      This dentist doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

      • Ami says:

        Or, I dont know, actually go to the doctor to get tested to see if you have an h pylori infection instead of telling people they have an infection when they probably don’t? Its a simple test, and a lot of doctors offices rule that out as a first step if the symptoms are serious

        • Not Kelly says:

          Apparently Kelly doesn’t know All reflux isn’t h. Pylori and thinks she’s smarter than the docs.

      • Tammie says:

        H. Pylori is not the only thing that can cause this. I have been tested multiple times and I don’t have the bacteria, but I have burning in my mouth, throat, sinuses, and experience asthma symptoms. I have been dealing with this for years, and so far the best advice I can give is watch what you eat, especially protein because the enzyme Pepsin is needed to digest the proteins that you eat. For people with LPR, it seems Pepsin is the main culprit that causes the burning in the esophagus, throat, mouth and airways. I was diagnosed with LPR about 2 years ago and it has been an up hill battle trying to figure this all out. For me, Gaviscon liquid from the UK was a life changer. Here is a website that has a lot of good information for people with LPR, https://www.refluxgate.com/.

        • Jack says:

          What is LPR?

          If fatty foods / meals trigger GERD and protein, also,…it appears I’m running out of options, especially since I have NAFLD and am supposed to limit sugars and carbs? Help!

          • Anne says:

            Dear Jack, eating protein causes pepsin to spray into the throat, ears etc. this is ok in and of itself, however if you eat anything acidic with a ph less than 7 it activates the pepsin which causes the burn. So start eliminating tomatoes, alcohol, lemon,lime, grapefruit, etc. from your diet and this will help enormously. After a few months you can introduce food with a ph of 5-7.

        • cianel lequina says:

          hi what food did you eat?

    • Linda Chiacchieri says:

      Mine is the upper right side of my mouth

  7. Wanda Scalzo says:

    I was fine with acid reflux until I had an antibiotic messed up my acid reflux. Now having had time. Dry month, hard to swallow at times, and knot in throat. Not on any meds, only pepcid ac 20 mg two times a day. Do not drink alcohol, no smoking, good diet. It’s driving me nuts.

    • Lisa says:

      Me too. 20 mg 2x a day pepcid and I eat acid free diet and drink alkaline water and sleep sitting up and I still have fumes swelling my gums and making my teeth hurt like they have severe pressure and are spreading

      • Peter says:

        Hi Lisa, my throat feels sore, the back and top of the roof of my mouth burns, metallic and bitter taste in my mouth, regurgitation and tingle feeling on top and sides of my tongue. How can I tell the difference If what I have are fumes or the actual acid that is coming up to my mouth?

        • Lindsey says:

          Hi Peter! Did you ever find a solution to this. I am on the healing path now and open to all suggestions. I hope you are doing well. Thank you!

    • Marge M says:

      Wanda – that’s exactly the situation I’m dealing with now & taking the same meds. I can only eat very limited foods- chicken, baby food oatmeal, non- green veggies, water, bananas. I was on high volume of calcium supplements due to a prior surgery in August.
      How are you feeling now in dec? If better, what helped?

  8. Cindy Heyward says:

    I have a white tongue and went to the ent who told me that I have acid reflux And that’s it wasn’t thrush. …Prior to that the dentist said it was plaque. Now. I am staying away from fried foods, alcohol, chocolate …. healthier diet.. along with sleeping 4-6 inches on a inclined thats is underneath my mattress which allows me to raised my bed like an adjustable bed. It cost me $ 179 on Amazon, but worth it. How do I get rid of the white tongue and when will it go away?

    • Moshin says:

      Hi did your white youngest gone away. I also have white patch exactly below left tonsils on tongue surface. It’s is not plaque or thrush. It comes of when I scrape it but not fully. Did you find any cure for it. I have digestion issue several years. Recently ENT said I have acid reflux issue. And he said due to friction I got white patch on tongue surface.

      Kindly reply I just want to get rid of this white patch which is bothering mentally .

  9. Lewis says:

    Has anyone else had a feeling on the roof of their mouth, as if it was burned, but it wasn’t? Or a weird sort of tingle/itch on the tongue? Happens off and on when I eat anything, doctor says if it was a food allergy something would happen every time. I have been on a lot of antibiotics this year and the GERD has gotten worse. Also have the metallic taste in the mouth, or a feeling of a dry tongue even when drinking water.

    • Sarah says:

      Yes, I also have a feeling on the back part of the roof of my mouth that feels like it was burned, irritated, constantly now since January. I have not been aware of gastric reflux happening, but I was unexpectedly found to have Barrett’s Esophagus and hiatial hernia when undergoing an upper GI and colonoscopy for other possible diagnostic reasons. I was prescribed a PPI but have hesitated to fill it since I had read that it can interfere with absorption of nutrients and increase possibility of infection in intestinal tract. I was thankful to have found this article mentioning other problematic side effects of PPI medication and the fact that it does not actually decrease the acid reflux, only treats the symptoms. Before reading this article, I made an appointment with my primary care person to look at the roof of my mouth to diagnose what is causing it. If I find information about it being either acid reflux or something else, I will post again here for you in case it might give you some avenue to explore more for yourself personally.

    • Sarah says:

      Yes, re roof of mouth and tip of tongue. You are not alone. Anyone else?

      • Peter says:

        Hi Sarah I also have that burning feeling on the back and roof of my mouth, also the tingling on the sides and top of tongue. I’ve been taking PPI but I see no improvement. If I stop taking PPI will my symptoms get worse or I’ll get sicker?

        • sally sassine says:

          me 2 peter. i am very stressed about it! 10 months now 🙁 plus feeling that my mouth is dry, i am taking dexilant 60 since January and nothing worked.

          • Harish Neve says:

            Me too, 13 months and nothing worked on these sensations, no doctor helped me they just thought i have anxiety or smthin, i believe this could be a slight nerve damage due to acid reflux that takes a long time to heal, also some medications such as anti histamines or cough thinners or antibiotics trigger this dry mouth symptom which stays for months. Mine went away after 13 months but are back again since i took covid medication as i was positive.
            I hope this will not start again..i wish doctors knew this weird but genuine symptoms.

      • Darlene says:

        I have a throat so bad and I am losing all my.back teeth and the acid also comes up in my ears and eyes! Can a person go blind from the acid in their eyes? Oh my! Please help! I have a hernia and that hurts as well.

    • Terri says:

      Maybe since you were on lots of antibiotics, your good gut bacteria may have been affected thus not allowing for good digestion of your food. Could this be the reason for an increase in reflux?

    • Terri says:

      Maybe since you were on lots of antibiotics, your good gut bacteria may have been affected thus not allowing for good digestion of your food. Could this be the reason for an increase in reflux?

    • Scott says:

      Hi Lewis, yes I have been diagnosed with GERD and most recently experienced burning tongue and roof of mouth feels burned and bleeds daily. Not sure how to cure this but will meet with doctor to discuss. I use mouthwash daily and clean teeth with senso dyne but still experiencing dry mouth, metallic taste, burning/numbing tongue even when drinking water.

  10. Lisa Rust says:

    I have noticed my 2 top front teeth have been damaged at the back. Woke up one morning and I could feel it with my tongue. During the day a tiny part of one of the tooth had broken away. I have an appointment with my dentist this month and will discuss what can be done going forward. he didn’t notice any erosion at my last appointment (before lockdown) I am very annoyed as I have always looked after my teeth and aged 55 I was always proud of the way I take care of them. This rotten condition causes so many issues.

  11. Candace Asbury says:

    My dentist completely ignored my conditions for years I never once had a cavity until I developed extreme acid reflux at age 13 and it slowly started to affect my teeth and even when I expressed my concern about it he still ignored me and continued to just fill my teeth over and over to the point once I turned 18 I decided to find another dentist which took me months to even get into see one. By that time my teeth had gotten so bad I needed 2 pulled and the rest crowned which didn’t happen because I lost my Medicaid then I finally get it back during COVID-19 and can’t get in to see my dentist then I finally do and now they are saying my Medicaid isn’t active and my teeth have just gotten worse and worse to the point I have a gum infection and can only eat with one side of my back teeth and can’t afford to get anything done.

    • Lexie says:

      I am in the same boat same story almost. I have had 5 root canals and have 3 infections currently. I have been to 8 different dentist all tell me something different. I am 27 years old and have probable barrett’s esophogus ( which didn’t even get diagnosed with until I was 18) Which since I was 14 have been struggling with decay and infections I have had two crowns also on top of all of the fillings and more fillings and root canals. at this point the infections are from all the cracks in my teeth from fillings. Fillings obviously are not the solution here. My dental insurance does not cover anything except cleanings so I am in the same boat right now. It’s awful!

  12. Peter says:

    Anyone konws somebody that had surgery or thinking about having it? My symptoms are everyday all day and dexilant and pepcid are not helping, my chest is been hurting and burning for two I don’t know what to do anymore. Any help I’ll appreciate it.

    • Kenyon says:

      I had a nissen fundoplication. It worked wonders… however…I was very stupid. I hot excited and ate everything I site. Drank soda… the works. 2 years later and I have silent reflux. If you get the surgery be very mindful that you can mess it up if you’re not careful. Also, it’s a very painful surgery and comes with a rough recovery.

    • Rebecca says:

      I tried the “Acid Watchers Diet” for 7 days I followed their sample meal plan exactly and it improved my smptims dramatically. I think If I did the full 28 days it might heal it completely. I am currently trying to talk myself in to doing it again, but It is hard, even though the food is good.
      The book also teaches you how to combine different foods so they don’t cause the reflux. Also, English cucumbers are very high alkaline and help counter acid reflux. I try to eat some when I feel it coming on now.
      I lost 40lbs because I could not eat, everything seemed to cause me problems, and I was already a really healthy eater prior to this problem. No fast food, no processed foods, fresh and scratch cooking. I found that at first Inhad low acid, not due to h-pylori, then I treated that with FD-Gard and then it became high acid, but the FD Gard fixed my intestinal bloating and pain. Prior to this I was only able to eat homemade chicken broth, chicken breasts, carrots, with salt and bay leaf. The last two things I had to give up was onions and garlic.
      It’s been a long process but I am feeling better this year than I was last year. When you come off of PPIs your acid reflux will be much worse at fisrt, but it will adjust some, the ppi causes this. Start controlling with food right away and come off of the poi’s and it will be easier. You can taper off or use and H2 blocker to help you get off the ppi.
      Currently I am experimenting with Betatine HCL because my acid reflux is flaring up a little. Thinking maybe I have low acid again because my iron is low again and I am becoming anemic again. Have your ferritin checked if your tired. But acid reflux does cause fatigue. Low acid causes low iron and other things can be low as well.
      I’ll stop rambling random information now.

    • Darlene says:

      Yes I am considering surgery! Anything is better than all these symptoms! I can’t take it anymore either! I thought I had heart problems and went to the ER two times! My sternum hurt so bad I couldn’t even walk! I never get cavities! The last 6 months I have had four! The acid comes up into my ears and my eyes! PPIs do nothing! I can’t sleep with the gurgling I can hear in my head!

  13. Lynn Risdon says:

    For the last 6 months or so, when I take my double bit guards off in the morning, I have blisters on the inside of my lips where the guards have been. Could this be from acid coming up during the night and being trapped on the surface of the guards???? I have had the guards for 9 years and am in the process of having new ones made.
    I don’t really feel any symptoms of acid reflux but your article has opened my eyes to some changes I will make in my lifestyle.
    Thank you.

  14. Barbiiemac says:

    I had surgery in 2013, Heller myotomy with fundiplication. It made my symptoms worse. I just looked on YouTube at Yoga for acid reflux yesterday and plan to start the routine later today. I dare not do any poses that include bending over. There are some upright positions I want to try..
    Im desperate. Barbiemac.

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  16. Norma Roberts says:

    I have had reflux for 31 years! It started when I was pregnant but I managed to stay on top of it with Gaviscon. As I got older, late 40s early 50s, it got worse and I took a PPI which controlled it 90% of the time. Then, 13 years ago, I had my gallbladder removed and things got much much worse! I stopped smoking, drinking, and my diet became very, very, bland. I also did the raising of the head of the bed, not eating within 4 hours of going to bed etc etc. I even tried just eating dry bread and drinking water for a week! It made not one bit of difference! I’d had endoscopies in the past, but never a barium swallow, until 2018. They discovered that not only do I have an hiatus hernia, but I have an esophageal motility problem – I don’t/can’t swallow properly ,and that’s because I have osteophytes (small bony growths due to arthritis) in my cervical spine (neck) which are pressing on nerves which control the esophagus and one, a fairly large one, is pressing on the esophagus itself! I’m posting this to show that not all reflux is down to diet etc (although these things can help) in fact, a gastroenterologist told me that the vast majority of reflux is down to a problem with the esophagus, stomach and/or the LES (lower esophageal sphincter ) the muscle between the esophagus & the stomach which is supposed to remain tightly closed until we swallow, or vomit/belch.

    • Angela says:

      Hi Norma, how do you treat your issues? I have been diagnosed with degenerative cervical spine and wonder whether have an osteophyte or many small ones?

  17. Matthew says:

    I was born without a functional esophageal valve and have been treating it with PPIs for nearly 20 years. I do not drink alcohol or sugary drinks, smoke, and have a reasonable diet.

    Recently I had to change my medication due to side effects that had developed, but the reflux has come back with severe complications. I am constantly short of breath and my mouth and throat are an inflamed mess of pain and tenderness, to the extent I cannot eat or brush my teeth without severe pain.

    Thanks for publishing an article outlining a link between reflux and oral cavity symptoms, because these are so often overlooked or unknown.

  18. Linda says:

    I have been suffering from acid reflux for over 4 years now and I am on medications galore which does not seem to be helping in anyway! Over past few weeks ulcers in my tongue and sores on both sides of my mouth are really bad! I was told I had burning mouth syndrome but no suggestions what to use for it! I have had endoscopy showing I have a hiatus hernia and a barium swallow showing I have signs of achalasia difficulty swallowing which I do have but not all the time! My real concern is the sore in my mouth, can anyone recommend a cure! I have tried bonjela, iglu, several mouth washes which have not worked! Any help would be greatfully appreciated thank you!

    • holly says:

      Hello Linda,
      It sounds as though you are really suffering with the sores in your mouth and tongue. I also have the same issue and it is hard for anyone to understand who has not experienced it. Most recent specialist recommends Pepcid 2x a day to help with silent GERD. There are also pharmaceuticals that may be helpful (gabapentin, prednisolone) although I did not find them helpful. Did you have any damage to your lingual nerve (dental procedure)?
      Sorry to hear of your situation. It is very painful. Good Luck.

    • Mary Flynn says:

      Your ENT Dr should be able to give you a mouth wash for your ulcers or ask your Dr to give you a prescription for Triamcinolone0.1%Paste .That worked for me.Alpha lipoid acid for the burning mouth I took 200mg twice a day you will get it at the vitamin store.Hope this helps.

  19. Ed says:

    Wish I had read this article like 30 years ago.
    Thank you so very much, I have always felt there was a link between my acid reflux problem and my teeth wearing down so fast.
    Now I know it is true and the link to the RELATED ARTICLE: Prosthodontic Treatment of The Severely Worn Dentition, is really handy. My teeth are like the clinical case one figure 1 but with less gaps, just between the upper frontal incisors (8&9). my next plan now is to find a dental practice that can help me in Newjersey U.S.A, any suggestions will be welcomed.
    Thanks once again for this wonderful write-up.

  20. Just happen to come across your website, Doc. I have been fighting Colin cancer since 2013. Was in remission for five years then started radiation treatments and then over to chemo. I too,,,, am having the same experience as a lot of your readers. I’ve just been beside myself as to what to do about the graininess of my teeth and gums. I’ve never had silent reflux before this year. Your info will be a great asset to me. My teeth feel like chalk and the coating on my gums felt like grit. What a horrible feeling. I have been communicating only with my oncologist about this , and I don’t think anyone can ever understand the problem unless they experience it for them selves. Obviously, you know what’s going on now. I’ve been checking out various diets this evening and although there is so much to learn, I will have a lot of questions for my cancer care pharmacist. This cancer has escalated thru blood stream and hit my liver, and lungs and a tumor formed in my throat. The radiation knocked it back since last May and chemo has stabilized cancer for time being. I have changed formula in chemo after doing 12 treatments and now going to give cancer a new shot . Hopefully it doesn’t know what is coming and can shrink the tumors. By the way, I don’t smoke. I just wanted to explain in regards to cancer. I used to farm and of course that involves spraying crops. Eventually the weeds get immune to the same weed spray. Just like cancer gets immune to the same treatment every couple weeks. Don’t get me wrong ,,,,,,I have no intention of ingesting a deadly chemical, I value life just as much as you do. I discussed this option of a different chemo chemical and that is exactly what our plan is to do. although it has different side effects, we both agree that cancer is a living organism and it just needs to be set off balance enough that it will eventually shrink. I think Cancer can be beat if there is good communication and 90% of healing is a good attitude. I’m sure Cancer Doc already knows all this. It would be interesting to hear your opinion. I’m 66 yrs. old. I wanted to kick around for at least another 10 years, and I’ve been trying my best but ya never know when your nickel up.

  21. Rachel says:

    Respiratory Reflux is a term that Dr. Jamie Koufman came up with to describe the acidic fumes that leak up the esophagus from the stomach because lower esophageal sphincter is it working properly. I like to eat coconut oil and other coconut products to slow down the damage that is caused. See books by Bruce Fife ND. Oil pulling (also see book by Bruce Fife ND) which is when you swish coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes then spit it out in the trash may help slow down oral damage.

    Pam Fox suggests massages and stretches to pull stomach down if it’s too close to diaphragm muscle. She reversed her hiatal hernia this way.

  22. Gregory M. McPeak says:

    I have been experiencing what feels like a dry mouth but my mouth isn’t actually dry. I have had reflux in the past and have post nasal drip. Anyone experience the same thing?

    • Christy says:

      I’m dealing with this any help?

    • Amanda says:

      I’m having this same problem and nobody seems to know if it’s acid reflux or not ‘ hopefully my visit to ent Friday will help a bit . But it’s draining I’m not myself i do not not know how people live with dry mouth it sucks .

    • Debra Slings says:

      I have dry mouth constantly. I drink ice water all the time. I experience this always too. But, my mouth is never dry, as well.

  23. Barbara says:

    I have gerd and it seems to have exacerbated recently. Also, my tongue feels dry , but like yourself it isn’t dry to the touch, and mouth generally feels strange along with roof feeling bit sore. I put this down to the Reflux although I have read that dry mouth is not a dominant side effect of acid reflux. I just assume everybody’s symptoms vary somewhat.

  24. Sarah says:

    I’d just like to say a big thank you to Dr Alban and to everyone who has taken the time to post on here. I found out 6 months ago that I have barrett’s oesophagus (discovered when I had an endoscope for other diagnostic reasons) and since then have realised I have silent GERD. I have worked this out for myself ( no info from Drs),and have probably had it for years (2 sinus operations, sore taste in mouth, mouth ulcers, lump in throat, occasional breathlessness going back 20yrs). Dr prescribed PPIs, but I’m not taking. I’m already slim and active and eat healthily, but I’m trying to do better! I now avoid berry fruits (or only eat combined with almonds) and eat bananas, melons and drink a cup of fresh ginger tea in the evenings. I’ve also found that going for a brisk half hour walk after an early dinner helps hugely. I hope these ideas might be helpful to some of you. Good luck!

  25. pained and not diagnosed says:

    Anyone has same as me. Started with a globus sensation stuck in my throat. I have sever acid reflux and severe postnasal drip. Then I got terrible persistent pain on both sides of my face, burning straight thru the day. I also throw up at least every day and burp the whole day. I have been to numerous ents and to a gastro. The ppis not helping. It feels like a golf ball in my throat. I have no apetite atall. I took numerous ct scans and nothing found. My tongue also always white, anyone knows how to connect facial pain to this. Its been four months of he–. I am nauseous and in pain whole day

  26. Debra Slings says:

    I’ve been taking omeprazole since 2012. Helped at first, not so much now. I have a very sore, & swollen tongue, and blisters on the insides, of my swollen lips. Have to let all hot liquids, & food, cool, before intake! Blisters are clear across the inside of my lips. I use Oragel mouthwash, suppose to be for mouth sores? Burns so bad, it makes my eyes water.
    I wear a mouth piece at night, for grinding issues. I still drink soda pop. I Will be giving that up, after reading the article! Soda pop makes my tongue, and blisters burn too. Will have to try the ginger, or green tea at night. Tums & Mylanta, does nothing for me anymore. I just want to get rid of the big blisters with swollen lips, and sore tongue, and the trouble swallowing. I always feel like a golf ball in my throat, constantly coughing up and spitting out excretions.
    Any suggestions? Without any dr visits involved?
    Thanks you!

  27. Linda says:

    Supposedly 95% of people with acid reflux actually have low acid. Before PPI’s came out it was treated pretty successfully with HCL. I believe if you have a hernia or ulcers it is not recommended. Do your research to find out how much you need to take. I was not taking enough when I first tried and dismissed it. Going back later and upping my dosage worked miracles. I cannot be on PPI’s because of my bones and other side effects. You should be off the other meds for this to work. If you take more HCL than you need you can just take a bit of baking soda in water to neutralize it a bit.

  28. JesseA says:

    Thanks for sharing a detailed and welll- explained article on relation between Acid-reflucx and oral healt. I read one blog on Acid-reflux on iahas.com where they mostly focus on the natural remedies. I will add your blog to my list

  29. Heather says:

    I have been dealing with LPR for a year and it is getting better … I have severe silent acid reflux and used to be miserable (swelling ,coughing, burning mouth, etc.) …I have been on ppi’s for a year but am now slowing going off of them …. I also use something called Gargle AWay -Advanced throat care by Natures Jeannie … I started by gargling 3 times a day – now I gargle 1 time each day – my voice box is so much better – hardly any pain … I bought it off Amazon but it is also at some local drug stores … I also chew bubble gum to keep my mouth moist … and that stops the burning/tingling sensation on tongue … I hope this helps anyone who is struggling with this awful reflux disease … 🙂

    • Pauline Miles says:


      I read your article and and hope you can help. I have suffered with reflux for many years but now I have constant burning on my tongue which omeprazole don’t touch it. Did you have constant burning on your tongue. Regards

      • Heather says:

        Hello Pauline, Yes I did have constant burning .. and let me start out by saying how sorry I am that you are going through this … I know your pain too well … I too am on omeprazole , and no it didn’t touch my burning tongue and mouth … this is what i have done naturally that has helped get to just a tingle on my tongue … still not all the way corrected but I’m on the right path … ok here is my list of things to do ..
        1. Get gargle away throat care at Amazon or a local pharmacy (it’s spicy ) but when you rinse and gargle it it removed the acid from your mouth – such a nice calm feeling – I always rinse before bed
        2. Your diet .. no caffeine , no sugar , no chocolate , no coffee. no eating out unless a salad – lots of oatmeal – stick to a bland diet
        3 . Chew gum – bubble gum – no mint gum – the bubble gum curbs the tingle burning in your mouth
        4. Drink lots of liquids, I started with only water for many moths -Alkaline water – now I am able to drink sugar free Gatorade
        5. Sleep inclined – this is really important .. and never lay down after eating or drinking
        6. Don’t eat 4 hours before going to bed and don’t eat a large dinner – eat a tiny, early dinner) (this was the advice of my gastro- and it has really helped)
        7. Don’t take hot showers after eating or later in the evening (when acid reflux is at its worst) the heat can cause you to reflux
        8. Work with a gastroenterologist… I had an endoscope to see what was going on in my stomach , it did look good but the tissue sample showed that I had esophagus (swelling of the esophagus from the acid ) that has now gone away however I am still working with my gastro to see if he will recommend the the surgery if I am not able to get the tingling (acid) to go away .
        9. Don’t bend over to pick up things or unload dishes, unload the laundry – this is really important -it sends the acid up and into the mouth. I have to don’t down on the floor to pick things up, unload laundry, etc .. awkward and funny looking I’m sure – but once you have had the acid in your mouth with burning, swelling, pain… you will do anything to stop it
        I hope this helps you ..,after doing these things I’m finally getting my life back and I’m able to function .. I have had pretty much all the symptoms of LPR and they are horrific – the gargling was a turning point for me so I definitely recommend that … good luck to you , I hope this all helps ! 🙂

        • Art says:

          Oh man i have a lot of the same! Burning mouth, ears, eyes, bloating. The hardest part is knowing what to eat. Ive had it for about a year and am losing my mind! Nothing seems to really work.

        • Pauline Miles says:

          Thankyou for your reply. What I find and I don’t know if you experienced it. After eating or drinking I belch immediately and that is when my tongue is on fire so I would love to be able to take something to stop the belching as omeprazole don’t get rid of it.

          • kayla says:

            Hi I hope up you don’t mind me messaging you. I have burning in my mouth we it a really nasty taste. What goes all around my mouth affects my tongue and throat I am on 60 mg of lansoprazole. But it still no helping if I eat, drink anything my mouth is ok until after. My lips are so dry and cracked to. Please could you offer any feedback thank you.

        • Pauline Miles says:

          Hi Thankyou for all the information that you have given me. I think if I didn’t belch after eating or drinking my mouth wouldn’t burn. I had a Oesophageal transit scan some months ago and they found that the food was moving too slowly from the Oesophagus to the stomach. They are going to try me for two weeks on Reglan which moves food quicker although I do have doubts about it working. Anything else you can think of please notify me. Regards

  30. Meryl says:

    For the last 5 years Ihave had excessive saliva in my mouth on the left side which occurs when mouth is closed or when tongue touches a specific spot such as a salivary gland by bottom front teeth. Recently had significant heartburn and just diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus. Wondering what to do about the excessive saliva which 3 ENTs did not find to be a concern and also interested if this be causing the Barrett’s Esophagus

  31. Tina says:

    My doctor has put me on a ppi for a year. I’m two months away from that year. I still get heartburn. Before I had eliminated as typical trigger foods and then some. I ate nothing below a Ph of 5, drank alkaline water, followed strict lifestyle changes. My GERD was unbearable. I developed trachea pain. Right now, with the ppis, I’m on a strict diet, strict lifestyle, and I take aloe vera juice (heavily filtered out the aloien) after I’m done eating for the day. If I misstep, I get instant heartburn that last for at least the rest of that day. I can’t even taste test my kids food when I cook. I’m scared of getting off the ppis but scared of staying on them

  32. kayla says:

    Hello everyone I have been on lansoprazole 60 mg for 3 months i have absolutely no appetite. I have last 6 stone. My symptoms are burning in mouth with nasty weird taste. It’s affects my teeth, tongue and throat it burns. It happens really bad after I finish eating, drinking and sometimes brush my teeth. My I had that I have had two amalgam fillings and two composite fillings not sure but feel worse since having them put in. Please Any feed back will be great as I am really ill from it.

  33. Lyn says:

    Anybody have a black tongue that gets better when the dose of omeprazole increases and worse when it decreases? I’m demented with this. Tongue black, and a bit brown with a whitish coat. Doc says I have stage 3 lesion due to acid reflux, improved from stage 4. Swallowing problems, often get stuff stuck in my throat , horrid. Any ideas? Not got cancer. Thnx

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