Evidence for biofilm acid neutralization by baking soda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background The generating of acids from the microbial metabolism of dietary sugars and the subsequent decrease in biofilm pH below the pH at which tooth mineral begins to demineralize (critical pH) are the key elements of the dental caries process. Caries preventive strategies that rapidly neutralize biofilm acids can prevent demineralization and favor remineralization and may help prevent the development of sugar-induced dysbiosis that shifts the biofilm toward increased cariogenic potential. Although the neutralizing ability of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) has been known for many years, its anticaries potential as an additive to fluoride dentifrice has received only limited investigation. Types of Studies Reviewed There is evidence that baking soda rapidly can reverse the biofilm pH decrease after a sugar challenge; however, the timing of when it is used in relation to a dietary sugar exposure is critical in that the sooner its used the greater the benefit in preventing a sustained biofilm pH decrease and subsequent demineralization. Furthermore, the effectiveness of baking soda in elevating biofilm pH appears to depend on concentration. Thus, the concentration of baking soda in marketed dentifrice products, which ranges from 10% to 65%, may affect their biofilm pH neutralizing performance. People with hyposalivation particularly may benefit from using fluoride dentifrice containing baking soda because of their diminished ability to clear dietary sugars and buffer biofilm acids. Conclusions Although promising, there is the need for more evidence that strategies that modify the oral ecology, such as baking soda, can alter the cariogenic (acidogenic and aciduric) properties of biofilm microorganisms. Practical Implications The acid neutralization of dental biofilm by using fluoride dentifrice that contains baking soda has potential for helping counteract modern high-sugar diets by rapidly neutralizing biofilm-generated acid, especially in people with hyposalivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S10-S14
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Baking soda
  • adaptation
  • bacteria
  • caries prevention products
  • dentifrices
  • diet
  • fluoride
  • psychological, biofilms
  • sodium bicarbonate
  • xerostomia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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