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AcidicTaste in Mouth

Havingan acidic taste in the mouth happens fairly commonly and canaffect any person regardless of age or other factors. Not a conditionin itself, an acidic taste is rather a symptom of acid reflux.

Acidreflux is known medically as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)and is known more colloquially as heartburn. When food passes throughthe esophagus, it is pushed into the stomach by means of a series ofcontracting and relaxing muscles and is finally delivered through thelower esophageal sphincter muscle that connects the esophagus andthe stomach. This muscle is supposed to close tightly after food haspassed through it to prevent the fluids in the stomach from movinginto the esophagus. It acts as a one-way valve in that sense.

However,for some people, the lower esophageal sphincter does not functioncorrectly or is too weak to fully close. This allows acidic stomachfluids to regurgitate back up the esophagus, sometimes reaching themouth, which causes the acidic taste. It also causes heartburnbecause the corrosive hydrochloric acid from the stomach burns the esophagus as it travels through it. People who are pregnant or obesetend to experience this problem more often than other people becausethere is more pressure on their stomachs, increasing the chance thatsome stomach fluid will be forced up into the esophagus.

Evenif someone's lower esophageal sphincter functions correctly, theymay still experience acid reflux and thus an acidic taste in themouth. Eating too much overall, consuming foods high in fat or saltor eating particularly large meals can strain the stomach andcause acid reflux. High activity in the digestive system causes thestomach fluids to react vigorously and can cause some fluid to refluxinto the esophagus.

Otherthings such as smoking and certain medications can force the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, which leads to acid reflux in asimilar way. Also, if a person needs to bend over frequentlythroughout the day, be it because of their job or because of theirdaily routine, they may also experience an acidic taste in the mouthquite often.

Treatment

Maintaininga balanced diet is key to controlling GERD. Limiting the amount offood consumed and carefully monitoring salt and fat intake via foodwill help prevent acid reflux from occurring in the first place.Reducing smoking can also help.

Certainmedications, such as antacids, can directly reduce the activity ofthe stomach fluids, thereby decreasing the chance that the fluidenters the esophagus. Sometimes, if the lower esophageal sphincteris functioning particularly poorly, surgery may be required tocorrect the problem.

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