Objectives: Many epidemiological studies show a high prevalence of tooth wear, even in young patients. One factor that may be contributing to this problem is the consumption of herbal teas that are often considered to be 'healthy' alternatives to other beverages. The aim of this study was to screen a number of these products for their potential to cause erosion.
Methods: The erosive potential of a variety of herbal teas was assessed in the laboratory by measuring their pH, neutralisable acidity and their ability to erode enamel and these were compared to a positive control, orange juice.
Results: The pH of the herbal teas ranged from 3.1 to 7.1 and the neutralisable acidity ranged from 3.5 to 60.3 ml of 0.1M NaOH. The amount of enamel removed following 1h immersion in the herbal teas ranged from 0.00 to 9.6 microm. In comparison, the orange juice control had a pH of 3.7 a neutralisable acidity of 21.4 ml and removed 3.3 microm of enamel.
Conclusions: Many of the herbal teas tested were found to be more erosive than orange juice. This information will be of use to clinicians when counseling patients with tooth surface loss.