Heartburn happens when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, irritating the lining of the esophagus. Usually when you swallow, a muscle around the bottom of the esophagus opens to let food go through and then closes. When it gets weak or doesn't close right, it lets stomach acid flow back into your esophagus. Heartburn causes a burning sensation in your mouth or chest or a sour taste in your mouth. Mild, occasional heartburn usually isn't a problem. Heartburn that happens frequently is called gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD.  It is also possible to have GERD without symptoms of discomfort in your chest.  GERD without symptoms has been linked to causing ear infections, sinus infection, excessive mucus in the throat. Over time, GERD can wear away at your esophagus and increase your risk for esophageal cancer and other problems.
Other Names
Chronic heartburn, dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux or irritation, peptic esophagitis, reflux esophagitis

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