Burping can help relieve bloating. Ways of making oneself burp can include drinking fizzy drinks, moving around, chewing gum, and swallowing air.

Burping is also known as belching. It involves the release of gas from the digestive tract to the mouth. Burps occur when air is swallowed while eating or drinking and is then expelled.

The air that is released is a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen.

This article lists and explains some methods to trigger burping. It also discusses conditions that cause gas and bloating and how to reduce the issue.

Black and white image of a female stretching outsideShare on Pinterest
Mihajlo Ckovric/Stocksy United

For those who do not have certain conditions or structural issues that make burping difficult, the following methods can help trigger burping.

If a person has a medical condition, or has had surgery on the upper part of their digestive tract, they should talk with a healthcare professional if they are having difficulty burping. They should not try the following methods before speaking with them.

When triggered, burping can bring about relaxation and make a person feel better quickly.

Carbonated beverages

Soda, beer, and other carbonated beverages are bubbly and gassy. Drinking any carbonated beverage causes gas buildup in the stomach, triggers a burp, and relieves abdominal pain.

Sipping the beverage is not enough. It is important a person drinks a large amount quickly in order to swallow more air and increase the chance of a burp.


Movement can put pressure on the air in the stomach and force it upward, potentially causing a person to burp. If a person is sitting, they should stand. If they are standing, they should sit. Lying down and quickly standing up is another option.

Other times, more action is needed. Walking, jogging, jumping up and down, or stretching may push air out of the stomach.

Eat gas-promoting foods

Eating gas-promoting foods can help build up gas pressure in the stomach, resulting in a burp after consumption. However, these foods may worsen the feeling of bloating, at least temporarily, until a burp is triggered.

Foods that may promote belching include:


Chewable calcium carbonate supplements, such as Tums and Rolaids, are designed to relieve acid ingestion. Burping can be an unexpected side effect of antacids.

Swallowing air

Swallowing air is another way to induce a burp, and it is easy to do. A person should exhale until the lungs are empty. Then, breathe in deeply and hold for as long as possible. Exhale and inhale again, and swallow the air.

Drinking a glass of water or pinching the nose can make this easier.

Triggering the gag reflex

Triggering the gag reflex can force a burp, but it should be considered as a last resort.

A person can trigger a burp by touching the back of their mouth with a clean finger. The touch should be light and only enough to release air upward.

The goal is only to burp, not to vomit. Too much force can cause vomiting, so it is important to be gentle.

Being unable to burp happens when the upper esophageal sphincter loses its ability to release air for some reason.

The upper esophageal sphincter is a muscular valve surrounding the upper part of the esophagus (food pipe) just below the throat passage.

The sphincter muscle relaxes during swallowing, but it contracts the rest of the time. When a person burps, the sphincter muscle must relax momentarily to allow air to escape.

It is important for the sphincter muscle to relax so swallowing can progress. It is also important that the sphincter muscle relaxes to release air upward to burp.

Being unable to burp may feel like an air bubble is sitting at the sphincter muscle with nowhere to go. The inability to burp can be painful and cause abdominal pain and bloating.

Most people belch up to 30 times per day, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Some health conditions cause people to experience gas and bloating more often. People with these conditions may benefit from triggered burping.

Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance is the inability to break down lactose, a type of sugar commonly found in milk and other dairy products. People with this condition may experience gas or bloating and find it difficult to burp at times.

Avoiding dairy can help to minimize symptoms, and inducing a burp may help when feeling bloated, gassy, and unable to burp.

Conditions that can make belching difficult

Many upper gastrointestinal disorders can either cause frequent burping or the inability to burp. These include:

These conditions may benefit from some of the techniques to induce burping.

Peptic ulcers are sores that may develop in the food pipe, stomach, or small intestine.

Acid reflux is a condition where stomach acid travels up to the throat and irritates the lining of the esophagus. Symptoms include gas and bloating after eating, which worsens with lying down.

Gastroparesis affects the stomach muscles and makes it difficult to empty the stomach. It also affects digestion and causes bloating and a feeling of fullness even when a person has eaten little food.

Retrograde cricopharyngeal dysfunction

When we belch or burp, air from the stomach passes up through the esophagus and eventually through the cricopharyngeus muscle.

Retrograde cricopharyngeal dysfunction occurs when the cricopharyngeus muscle, the muscle that primarily makes up the upper esophageal sphincter, is too tight. When this muscle is too tight, air cannot escape, gets trapped, and causes discomfort. This is especially true if a person with this condition drinks a carbonated beverage.

Symptoms of retrograde cricopharyngeal dysfunction include:

  • gurgling throat noises
  • abdominal and chest discomfort
  • abdominal fullness
  • excessive flatulence

Individuals with retrograde cricopharyngeal dysfunction do not have the ability or find it very difficult to belch or burp.

Treatment includes Botox injections into the muscle to help it relax.


Dyspepsia is not a specific medical condition. Rather, the medical term describes a burning or gnawing feeling in the chest or upper abdomen, usually after eating.

Most people describe the feeling as “gas,” and other symptoms may include stomach rumbling, belching, or the inability to belch, and increased gas in the stomach or intestines. Causes of dyspepsia can be minor or severe.

Anyone experiencing painful gas, bloating, and problems with burping can reduce these symptoms by:

  • avoiding gas-causing foods
  • drinking water before meals
  • eating and drinking slowly
  • avoiding smoking, chewing gum, or drinking with a straw
  • avoiding artificial sweeteners, as these are known to cause gas

Below are some commonly asked questions about burping.

How can a person make themselves burp fast?

Drinking carbonated drinks, moving, eating hard candy or chewing gum, swallowing air, or chewing an antacid are some ways a person may be able to make themself burp.

What happens if a person can’t burp?

If a person can’t burp, they may have retrograde cricopharyngeal dysfunction. People with this condition do not have the ability or find it very difficult to belch or burp due to tight cricopharyngeus muscle. This leads to abdominal and chest discomfort, abdominal fullness, and excessive flatulence.

However, Botox injections can help relax the cricopharyngeus muscle and improve symptoms.

How can a person get rid of trapped gas in their chest?

Some ways a person may be able to get rid of trapped gas in the chest include:

  • drinking warms drinks
  • eating ginger
  • exercising

Find out more about gas pain in the chest here.

Gas is a natural part of the body’s digestive system. However, if gas or burping problems are painful or chronic, a person should talk with a doctor about their concerns.

People with discomfort from trapped gas may be able to trigger burping by drinking carbonated beverages, taking antacids, or moving about and stretching.