The aim of this investigation was to study the intraoral pH response on tooth surfaces in relation to dental erosion during and after drinking a sugar-free cola-type soft drink. Six different methods of drinking were tested in a randomized order: holding; short-sipping; long-sipping; gulping; nipping; and sucking. Two methods of pH measurement were used in two series of individuals. In the first series, pH was measured by using the microtouch method in 12 healthy adults at three dental erosion-prone sites: 11 palatally; 11 buccally; and at the mesiobuccal cusp tip of 16. In the second series, pH was measured by using the telemetric method in 6 healthy individuals, producing continuous recordings of pH by means of a glass electrode in a specified approximal area. The two series showed similar results, although the telemetric method generally recorded larger pH falls. Holding the drink in the mouth before swallowing led to the most pronounced pH drop, followed by the long-sipping method. Gulping resulted in only a small decrease of pH. No differences among the three intraoral sites were found when analyzed by using the microtouch method. The conclusion from this study is that the drinking method strongly affects tooth-surface pH and thereby the risk for dental erosion. It therefore seems appropriate to include advice on the method of drinking in dietary counseling related to dental erosion.
Copyright Eur J Oral Sci, 2004.