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 peppers or 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, who specializes in colon cancer screening, upper endoscopy and consultative gastroenterology with the Endoscopy Center of New York.

“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 in the middle of the night), then see if you can elevate the bed so that your torso is elevated.

This non-horizontal position will help keep the stomach’s acid juices from making their way up into your throat and mouth.

Elevating only your head will not work. The actual bed needs to be elevated. 

Another option is a 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. Another option is to place a small pillow on the wedge.

wedge pillow for acid reflux

Source: medcline.com

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.

dr. desai

Board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology, Dr. Desai provides a wide range of GI services including for bacterial overgrowth, constipation, acid reflux and GERD, IBS, incontinence and small bowel disease. Twitter handle: @NYGADocs
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  

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