Suppressive effects of saliva against enamel demineralization caused by acid beverages


This study aimed to clarify the ability of the buffer systems of saliva to inhibit enamel demineralization after intake of an acid beverage. In the first experiment, titrable acidity tests were carried out. Ten milliliters of saliva stimulated by chewing gum base was obtained from 10 healthy adult subjects and the pH of each saliva sample was measured. The beverages used for the experiment were a carbonated soft drink (pH 2.2), a sports drink (pH 3.5), and 100% orange juice (pH 3.8). Distilled water adjusted to the pH of each saliva sample was used as a control. In the second experiment, the suppressive ability of saliva against enamel demineralization was quantitatively analyzed using quantitative light- induced fluorescence (QLF). Aliquots of stimulated saliva obtained from a subject were mixed with 15 ml of 100% orange juice in saliva:orange juice ratios of 1/30, 1/15, 1/10 and 1/5, and bovine teeth were soaked for 24 hours in the solutions. The △Q of the QLF analyses of the enamel was then measured. The lowest titrant volume which reduced the pH of the initial saliva (7.7 on average) to pH 5.4 was that of the orange juice. No relationship was found between the buffer capacity and the pH of the acid beverages. From the QLF measurement, the saliva-orange juice group showed a significantly decreased amount of enamel demineralization (p < 0.01 at 20% level) compared with the distilled water-orange juice group. In conclusion, saliva acts as a buffer to suppress enamel demineralization caused by low-pH beverages.

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Takahashi, S. , Watanabe, S. , Ogihara, T. , Watanabe, K. , Xuan, K. and Wang, X. (2011) Suppressive effects of saliva against enamel demineralization caused by acid beverages. Health, 3, 742-747. doi: 10.4236/health.2011.312123.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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