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Arch Oral Biol. 1998 Feb;43(2):157-61.

The influence of xylitol and fluoride on dental erosion in vitro.

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Department of Clinical Dental Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Liverpool, U.K.


The aim was to determine the effect of xylitol, fluoride and xylitol/fluoride combined on the erosion of dental enamel by pure orange juice in vitro. Freshly extracted bovine incisors were sectioned vertically into four equal portions. Each portion was then coated with an acid-resistant nail varnish except for an enamel window on the labial surface of the tooth. These were then divided into four groups with each group containing one portion of each tooth selected randomly. Four erosive agents were prepared as follows: (A) pure orange juice only; pure orange juice plus either (B) xylitol (25% w/v) or (C) fluoride (0.5 parts/10(6)) or D) xylitol/fluoride (25% and 0.5 parts/10(6) respectively). Each group was assigned to one of the erosive agents and immersed six times daily for a period of 5 min on each occasion and stored in artificial saliva between exposures and for 12 hr overnight, for 24 days making a total of 12 hr of exposure to the assigned erosive agent. Sections were cut from each enamel specimen ground to a thickness of 80 microns and microradiographed. Mineral loss was quantified by a two-step image analysis. Mineral loss was significantly lower (p < 0.05) in group D (xylitol/fluoride) only when compared with group A (pure orange juice only). The numerical values of mineral loss could be ranked as follows: group D < group C < group B < group A. It was concluded that xylitol and fluoride have an additive effect in the reduction of dental erosion by pure orange juice in vitro.

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