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Many people have experienced heartburn at some point in their lives, but what happens when it becomes a frequent or even daily occurrence?
Problems associated with chronic acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), can lead to the erosion of tooth enamel—requiring costly dental restoration—and may even increase the risk of developing cancer of the esophagus.
Most people can prevent severe tissue damage and manage GERD through diet and lifestyle changes. First, they should try to identify and eliminate foods that cause acid reflux. Though individual triggers may vary, common foods that cause acid reflux include alcohol, caffeine, citrus, chocolate, spicy or fried foods, garlic, onions, peppermint and tomatoes. After eliminating their triggers, individuals should try to limit portion sizes as well.
When you eat is just as important as what you eat. It is recommended that acid reflux sufferers wait at least three hours after dinner before going to bed. For many, this means eating dinner earlier.