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J Dent. 2007 Jun;35(6):541-6. Epub 2007 Apr 24.

A clinical study in situ to assess the effect of a food approved polymer on the erosion potential of drinks.

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Division of Restorative Dentistry, Bristol Dental School, Lower Maudlin Street, Bristol BS1 2LY, UK.



The consumption of acidic soft drinks continues to rise as do concerns regarding effects of frequent intake. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of acidic soft drinks containing food approved polymers, on dental enamel.


The study design was a single blind, randomised, five-treatment crossover clinical trial involving 15 healthy dentate subjects. Subjects wore an upper removable acrylic appliance retaining two enamel specimens and consumed 250ml of beverage four times/day for 10 days. The following beverages were tested: (1) unmodified acidic soft drink, (2) experimental acidic soft drink with 0.02% polyphosphate, (3) experimental acidic soft drink with 0.02% polyphosphate and 0.01% calcium, (4) experimental acidic soft drink with 0.02% polyphosphate and 0.03% xanthan gum, and (5) mineral water. Tissue loss was measured at days 5 and 10 of each study leg using a profilometer.


The order of erosion from most to least at day 10 was unmodified acidic soft drink>experimental acidic soft drink with polyphosphate>experimental acidic soft drink with polyphosphate+gum>experimental acidic soft drink with polyphosphate+calcium>mineral water. At day 10 the unmodified acidic soft drink was significantly (p=0.001) more erosive than all other drinks.


Unmodified acidic soft drink with the addition of polyphosphate alone or combined with calcium or xanthan gum are all effective at reducing erosion of enamel compared with the unmodified soft acidic drink.

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