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Investigation of the erosive potential of sour novelty sweets

Aljawad, A., Morgan, Maria Zeta, Fairchild, R. and Rees, J. S. 2017. Investigation of the erosive potential of sour novelty sweets. British Dental Journal 222 (8) , pp. 613-620. 10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.363

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Background The expansion of the novelty sweets market in the UK has major potential public health implications in children and young adults as they may cause dental erosion. Objective To investigate the erosive potential of the novelty sweets in term of their physiochemical properties and amount of enamel loss. Subjects and methods The pH of a variety of novelty sweets was tested in vitro using a pH meter and the neutralisable acidity was assessed by titrating the sweets against 0.1M NaOH. The viscosity of the novelty sweets was measured using a rotational viscometer. The wettability of enamel by each sweet was measured using dynamic contact angle analyser. Enamel loss was assessed using contact profilometry. Results The pH ranged from 1.8–3.2, the neutralisable acidity ranged from 9–201 ml of 0.1 NaOH. The viscosity of the novelty sweets that come in liquid form ranged from 2–594 mPa s. The surface enamel erosion ranged from 1.95–15.77 μm and from 2.5–17.6 μm with and without immersing in saliva for 1 hour before immersing in acidic solution respectively. The amount of subsurface enamel loss was ranged from 0.75 to 2.3 μm following ultrasonication at 0 min of acidic attack and from 0.23 to 0.85 μm at 60 minutes of acidic attack while immersed in saliva. The contact angle between enamel surface and four sweet was less than the angle formed between the orange juice and the enamel which caused more wettability of enamel. Conclusion The pH is lower than the critical value for enamel erosion (5.5), high neutralisable acidity and high sugar content strongly suggest that these sweets may cause significant amount of dental erosion clinically. In addition, the degree of wettability of enamel by solution is an important factor to consider in determining the enamel loss caused by acidic solution. Immediate tooth brushing would cause further enamel loss as a result of the mechanical removal of softened enamel. However, it has been suggested that postponing brushing after erosive attack should be reconsidered.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Publisher: Nature Publishing
ISSN: 0007-0610
Date of Acceptance: 3 January 2017
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2019 12:22

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