Can GERD Cause Dry Mouth?

In today's episode, I’m going over.....

The question “Can GERD cause Dry Mouth”


I'm Dr. Anna


and In the next few minutes you are going to learn…

About how GERD causes Dry Mouth


Head over to to get the

Free Dry Mouth eBook,

Dry Mouth Assessment Questionnaire

Dry Mouth Worksheet and

Daily Checklist.


These materials are what I give my patients who have dry mouth, and it helps many of them experience relief.


With that being said

👉👉 Do you have GERD and Dry Mouth?  Let me know it the comments, and what have you tried to make your dry mouth caused by GERD better.

I will start by discussing the 2 ways GERD can affect your oral cavity.

  • It can cause Dry Mouth - usually due to the side effect of medications which are used to treat GERD. They are called proton pump inhibitors
  • It can cause Cavities and tooth erosion by creating an acidic environment in the mouth which can lead to irritation, candidiasis (thrush) and enamel erosion (wearing of teeth).


So what is GERD?

GERD is an acronym that stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as acid reflux. It is a long-term condition in which contents of the stomach (which are very acidic) rise up to the esophagus (the part of our body through which food passes from our mouth to our stomach) and even the oral cavity.

Some of the GERD symptoms include:

  • Heartburn
  • Acidic taste in the mouth
  • Chest pain/breathing problems
  • Vomiting
  • Acid taste in the mouth
  • Toot erosion

If you experience any of these and or others speak to you doctor so you can be evaluated.

How is GERD managed?

GERD is managed through lifestyle changes as well as proper oral hygiene, medications and possible surgery. 

Some of the lifestyle changes include

1) Avoiding laying down three hours after eating.

It is during that 3 hour period after eating that out stomach is full and most active. When we lay down in that time period, there will be enough stomach contents to travel up the digestive system and cause irritation.

 2) Sleeping with your head elevated

Gravity is an important factor in helping food travel up the digestive system to our mouth. If we can sleep with our head elevated, food will not be able to travel as easily.

Action: try sleeping with multiple pillows to keep your head elevated. Look into adjustable mattresses which allow for positioning alterations.


3) Alkaline (basic) non-inflammatory diet.

The best way to neutralize the acid from GERD is through a base that comes from our diet or dry mouth products we use. 

Action: Prepare meals which have a basic (alkaline) composition they include: leafy green vegetables such as avocado, asparagus, apples, spinach, kale, broccoli, butternut squash, cucumber, green beans, cauliflower, potatoes, apricots, carrots, celery, Fruits such as tomatoes, bananas pomegranates, cherries, melons, pears. Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts almonds, Healthy fats (unsaturated fats) etc. These foods also serve as a source of necessary vitamins and minerals to keep our oral cavity healthy. 

4) Weight loss and regular exercise.

Some studies have shown that even though it is not clear why, but weight gain can play a major role in development of GERD. Scientists think it may be due to physical changes in the digestive tract and or altered metabolism. (1). Some of those studies have shown improvement in GERD symptoms after placing subjects through weight loss and diet programs.

Action: 30 minutes physical activity per day is recommended. (walking definitely counts!) If 30 minutes per day is too much you can start with a shorter walk of 5-10 minutes and increase the time as you get comfortable. The most difficult part is to get started, once you are on the move you will want to keep going. Setting small goals in the beginning is great for finding motivation.

 5) Smoking cessation

Nicotine, which is an ingredient in tobacco, has relaxing (untightening) effects of a ring of muscle (esophageal sphincter) in our upper digestive tract (esophagus). (2) The role of the sphincter is to keep stomach contents down. If it is relaxed due to tobacco, for example, the acidic stomach contents pass through and up to our esophagus and oral cavity. Therefore, cessation of smoking will help bring back the sphincter back to its function, to keep food down and help with GERD.

 Action: Look into smoking sensation. Sorry, there is no way around it.

 6) Dental Hygiene

Acid is very harmful to our teeth, it literally dissolves enamel, makes it thinner by which making the teeth more sensitive and vulnerable to cavities.

Dry Mouth Organic Mouthwash

Purchase here

  • Dental visits at least every 6 months. Have radiographs taken as indicated.
  • Ask your doctor whether prescription - strength fluoride toothpaste and fluoride varnish application is indicated for you.

 This is Dr. Anna with the Dry Mouth Show.

Read more about how to help with Dry Mouth here: What Causes of Dry Mouth? Dry Mouth Symptoms and Home Remedies 


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