Burping (belching) is as common and natural a bodily function as passing gas (farting). Excessive burping can sometimes be accompanied by discomfort or bloating.

Although these symptoms can interfere somewhat with certain daily activities, they typically don’t indicate a serious underlying condition.

Burping is your body’s way of getting rid of excess air from your upper digestive tract. Belches contain oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.

Usually, burping is a result of swallowed air building up in your esophagus, the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. This buildup of air is often brought on by:

  • drinking or eating too quickly
  • talking while you eat
  • drinking and eating with poorly fitting dentures
  • consuming carbonated drinks
  • smoking
  • sucking on hard candy
  • chewing gum

Other causes of burping are often accompanied by additional symptoms such as abdominal pain or heartburn. These include:

Excessive burping can be a symptom of an Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterial infection.

This bacteria may be present in over half of the world’s population, but most people don’t get sick from it.

Other symptoms of H. pylori infection include:

These symptoms are reasons to see your doctor, who will most likely treat this type of infection with antibiotics.

You should seek emergency medical help if your symptoms include:

Complications from H. pylori infection include:

Meganblase syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by intense air swallowing following heavy meals.

This can result in a large bubble of gas in the stomach that causes pain as well as excessive belching. It can also increase the feeling of fullness and cause shortness of breath, which may be mistaken for a heart attack.

Meganblase syndrome is commonly treated through behavioral changes.

Try these tips to decrease burping:

  • Slow down while you eat and drink.
  • Avoid eating when stressed.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages, including beer.
  • Avoid drinking through a straw.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Stop chewing gum and sucking on hard candies.
  • If you wear dentures, make sure they fit properly.
  • Take a short walk or get other light exercise after eating.

Also, don’t ignore heartburn.

If heartburn is an occasional occurrence for you, over-the-counter (OTC) medications can relieve mild symptoms.

If the symptoms of heartburn are frequent or severe, you might have acid reflux or GERD. Talk to your healthcare provider about diagnosing your condition and recommending appropriate treatment, such as prescription medication.

If you’re experiencing excessive burping alongside symptoms such as problems swallowing, bloody vomit, or bloody stool, you could have an H. pylori infection or ulcers that need immediate attention.

Although burping is a natural bodily function, excessive burping could be the result of an underlying condition. This is especially true if it’s accompanied by other symptoms, such as abdominal pain or heartburn.

If excessive burping occurs alongside severe symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, bloody vomit or stool, or intense and recurring abdominal pain, see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan.