The effect of chewing sugar-free gum on gastro-esophageal reflux

J Dent Res. 2005 Nov;84(11):1062-5. doi: 10.1177/154405910508401118.


Regurgitated acid entering the mouth in gastro-esophageal reflux disease can cause dental erosion. Chewing gum could induce increased swallowing frequency, thus improving the clearance rate of reflux within the esophagus. The null hypothesis of this study was that chewing gum does not have any effect on the clearance of reflux from the distal esophagus. Thirty-one subjects presenting with symptoms of reflux were given a refluxogenic meal twice and were randomly selected to chew gum for half an hour after eating the meal. Esophageal pH was measured, and pH data were analyzed and compared during the postprandial periods for 2 hrs on the 2 occasions. The median (IQ range) values for the % time pH < 4 during the postprandial period without chewing gum were 5.7 (1.7-13.5) and, with chewing gum, 3.6 (0.3-7.3), respectively (p = 0.001). Chewing sugar-free gum for half an hour after a meal can reduce acidic postprandial esophageal reflux.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chewing Gum* / analysis
  • Deglutition / physiology
  • Eating / physiology
  • Esophageal Sphincter, Lower / physiopathology
  • Esophageal pH Monitoring
  • Female
  • Gastric Acid / metabolism
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / metabolism
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / prevention & control
  • Heartburn / physiopathology
  • Heartburn / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sweetening Agents / chemistry


  • Chewing Gum
  • Sweetening Agents