People with heartburn should avoid chocolate as it can worsen heartburn. They should also avoid other reflux-inducing foods (fatty foods, peppermint and excessive alcohol, which may reduce lower esophageal sphincter pressure). A number of beverages have a very acidic pH and can exacerbate symptoms. These include colas, red wine and orange juice (pH 2.5 to 3.9). Promotion of salivation by either chewing gum or use of oral lozenges may also be helpful in mild heartburn. Salivation neutralizes refluxed acid, thereby increasing the rate of esophageal acid clearance.

Restriction of alcohol use and elimination of smoking; smoking is deleterious in part because it diminishes salivation.