Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 1519–1526 | Cite as

Erosive effect of different dietary substances on deciduous and permanent teeth

  • T. S. CarvalhoEmail author
  • T. M. Schmid
  • T. Baumann
  • A. Lussi
Original Article



We investigated the effect of different dietary substances on deciduous and permanent enamel.

Materials and methods

Enamel specimens were prepared from human teeth (n = 108 deciduous molars and n = 108 permanent premolars). We measured the chemical parameters (pH, titratable acidity, viscosity, calcium, phosphate, fluoride concentration and degree of saturation) of nine dietary substances. The teeth were immersed in the respective substance (2 × 2 min; 30 °C; shaking), and we measured the baseline surface hardness (SH) in Vickers hardness numbers (VHN), and the changes in SH after 2 min (ΔSH2–0) and the 4 min (ΔSH4–0) immersion. We analysed the differences between deciduous and permanent teeth using the Wilcoxon test and correlated ΔSH to the different chemical parameters.


Deciduous teeth were significantly softer (549.53 ± 59.41 VHN) than permanent teeth (590.15 ± 55.31 VHN; p < 0.001) at baseline, but they were not more vulnerable to erosive demineralization. Only orange juice, which presented milder erosive potential, caused significantly more demineralisation in deciduous teeth at ΔSH4–0. Practically all chemical parameters significantly correlated with ΔSH (p < 0.05). Substances with lower pH, higher titratable acidity, lower Ca, higher Pi and lower F concentrations, higher viscosity and more undersaturated solutions presented more erosive demineralisation.


Different parameters in dietary substances affect erosive demineralisation in deciduous and permanent teeth, but we generally observed no differences in susceptibility to erosion between both types of teeth; only orange juice (less severe acid conditions) caused perceptible differences.

Clinical relevance

We observe that permanent teeth are harder than deciduous teeth, but most substances cause no perceptible difference in erosive demineralisation in both types of teeth.


Dental erosion Primary teeth Permanent teeth Dietary factors Chemical properties Liability 



The author thank G. Fischer and Prof. Häusler, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, University of Bern, for their support with the statistical analyses, and also Brigitte Megert for her valuable help in the laboratory. We are particularly grateful to the Department of Preventive, Restorative and Pediatric Dentistry, University of Bern, Switzerland, for providing the chemical analysis data from the data pool of the Department.

Compliance with ethical standards


The present experiment complied with the ethical standards of the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments. This study was also in accordance with the approved guidelines and regulations of the local ethical committee (Kantonale Ethikkommission: KEK). The teeth were extracted by dental practitioners in Switzerland, pooled into two groups of deciduous and permanent teeth, and stored in chloramine until the time of the experiment. Before the donation, the patients (and parents, in case of children) were informed about the use of their teeth for research purposes. All patients (and parents) gave their oral consent. Because we selected teeth from a pool of permanent or deciduous teeth, the local ethics committee categorizes these specimens as “irreversibly anonymised”, so no previous approval from the committee was necessary.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


The work was supported by the Department of Preventive, Restorative and Pediatric Dentistry, University of Bern, Switzerland.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent was not required (KEK: Req-2016-00332).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. S. Carvalho
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. M. Schmid
    • 1
  • T. Baumann
    • 1
  • A. Lussi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Preventive, Restorative and Pediatric DentistryUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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