Gastroesophageal reflux, commonly called acid reflux, occurs when acid from your stomach flows in the wrong direction -- back up into the esophagus. This can cause a burning sensation in your chest and throat. Heartburn is a hallmark symptom of acid reflux. If you suffer from acid reflux, identifying possible triggers -- such as mint-flavored foods -- can help relieve symptoms.
Under normal circumstances, a band of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter prevents stomach contents from flowing up into the esophagus. When this fails to work properly, acid reflux can result. A wide variety of conditions can cause acid reflux. These include impaired stomach function, certain medications, genetic factors, malfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter and eating too many acidic foods.
Gum In, Spearmint Out
Reducing acid is the primary goal if you suffer from acid reflux. The saliva produced when you chew gum may actually help neutralize stomach acid. Data indicates that chewing gum for 30 minutes after a meal relieves heartburn and protects against acid reflux, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. However, choose a non-spearmint flavored chewing gum, because spearmint and peppermint flavors may increase acid production, according to the UMMC.