Have you been experiencing a peppery taste in your mouth, particularly upon awakening in the morning or even in the middle of the night? Where is this coming from if you haven’t been eating anything with pepper in it?

“Acid reflux is when the normal low pH secretions in the stomach are pushed up into the esophagus,” explains Jay Desai, MD.

Dr. Desai specializes in upper endoscopy, colonoscopy and consultative gastroenterology at New York Gastroenterology Associates located in NYC, NY. He is available for same day appointments in their Upper East Side office.

“Sometimes these fluids can regurgitate as high as into the mouth. Because of the low pH of these secretions, they have distinct tastes, such as metallic or pepper.”

If you’re finding that this peppery taste in your mouth occurs only when you awaken in the morning (or overnight), then see if you can elevate the bed so that your torso is elevated.

This non-horizontal position will help keep acid from making its way up into your mouth. Elevating only your head will not work. The actual bed needs to be elevated.

Another option is a foam wedge that you can lie your back on. You’ll need to arrange some pillows so that your head is comfortable unless your head is actually on the wedge.

If you sleep on a sofa (not sofa bed, but actual sofa), it should be fairly easy to elevate the end of the sofa where your head lies. If six inches doesn’t work, try nine or 10.

Elevation is a very effective way to relieve acid reflux that occurs overnight, including that which causes a pepper taste in the mouth.

Related Information

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