How to Rebalance the pH of Your Mouth – How Acid-Reflux/GERD Can Cause Cavities

Acid Reflux/GERD changes the acidity (pH) in the mouth. This causes cavities, tooth erosion, and contributes to periodontal disease.

The Importance of Normal Acid Balance in the Mouth

A measure of acidity is called the “pH” scale. The normal range of pH in the mouth is from 7.2 to 7.4. When mouth pH falls below this level, calcium is dissolved from the teeth, and cavities start to form. When the pH falls to 5.5 teeth soften and cavities form very rapidly and destructively.

Some causes of oral pH imbalance are acidic foods and drinks, some mouth rinses, GERD and acid reflux, and certain medications. Beverages with very high levels of acid include carbonated beverages, fruit juices, and wine.

To Modify and Balance Oral pH

  • Modify and limit the consumption of acidic food and beverages.
  • Drink liquids through a straw to avoid leaving acid in the mouth.
  • Swish or rinse with water after consuming acidic foods.
  • Do not brush for at least 20 minutes after drinking or eating acidic foods to allow the calcium in your saliva to remineralize tooth surfaces.
  • Drink milk; eat dairy products and high calcium foods such as okra, broccoli, and bok choy to replenish calcium.
  • Use toothpaste with baking soda (like Arm and Hammer).
  • Use a remineralizing agent like MI Paste (available by prescription).
  • Get a fluoride treatment at each hygiene visit.

Please let us know if you have questions or would like more information on this important topic.

We recommend that you follow up with your physician.


Robert Korwin DMD, MICOI, MAGD is an award-winning dental expert who has served the Middletown-Red Bank-Monmouth County area for over 35 years. His practice offers a full range of general, reconstructive and cosmetic dental procedures with an emphasis on patient comfort.  Advanced Dentistry with a Gentle Touch, includes sedation dentistry, and the practice works with individuals to maximize their dental health, ensure their comfort and minimize financial concerns. For more information, please call (732) 219-8900 or book an appointment with Dr. Robert Korwin.