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What causes one to burp?

Jill A. Grimes, MD
Family Medicine
Excess air in your stomach causes you to burp. However, you may not realize things that contribute to swallowing air, so here is list of common causes:
  • Carbonated beverages (this one is pretty obvious).
  • Using a straw for any drink. You suck down air before the liquid.
  • Anxiety or stress can cause you to swallow rapidly, including air.
  • Sucking on hard candies or mints.
  • Chewing gum (same principle).
  • Eating rapidly (remember what your mom said about wolfing down your food?).
  • Ill-fitting dentures or retainers.
Lawrence S. Friedman, MD
Gastroenterology
Aerophagia -- excessive swallowing of air -- produces belching or burping. The upper gastrointestinal gas that erupts from the mouth comes from swallowed air that forces itself back up. There are actually two kinds of belching. One is a fairly innocuous condition that stops on its own about an hour after eating and is caused by air swallowed while eating. The other is more persistent and is caused by constant air swallowing, a nervous habit most people don't even know they have.

Technically called eructation, belching occurs when the upper esophageal sphincter relaxes and lets the pressurized gas that has been swallowed escape from the mouth. A study has found that healthy young people belch an average of 11 times in 20 hours, excluding mealtimes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.