Erosion of the teeth is a chronic irreversible process leading to loss of surface enamel and even the dentin, in turn causing sensitivity and pain. Increased consumption of carbonated beverages remains a major cause for dental erosion. However, many of the so called safe beverages that are consumed may also have sufficiently low pH to cause dental erosion. One of the parameters to measure the dental erosion is estimation of hardness and surface roughness.
Thus, this study aims to evaluate the difference in hardness and surface roughness of enamel and cementum using three beverages namely (carbonated drink, lime soda, lime juice) in deciduous and permanent teeth. Ten permanent and three deciduous teeth samples each were kept in lime juice, lime soda, carbonated beverage and tap water. The VHN using Vickers hardness tester and Ra value using surface profilometer were assessed at baseline, 1 day and 10 days.
At the end of 10 days the decrease in hardness of enamel of permanent teeth was maximum for teeth immersed in carbonated beverage followed by lime soda and lime juice. However, in the deciduous teeth it was observed that the VHN drop was maximum at 1 day in relation to teeth immersed in carbonated beverage followed by lime juice and lime soda. The hardness of cementum decreased significantly at the end of ten days both in deciduous as well as permanent teeth.
The present study shows that many of the most commonly used beverages like lime juice and lime soda have a sufficiently low pH to cause erosion of the enamel surface as well as that of cementum of both deciduous and permanent teeth. Though protective mechanisms do exist in the oral cavity to neutralize the acids present in these beverages, continuous usage of these beverages leads to irreversible damage to the tooth structure.
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