In vitro enamel erosion associated with commercially available original-flavor and sour versions of candies

J Am Dent Assoc. 2009 Jul;140(7):906-13. doi: 10.14219/jada.archive.2009.0284.


Background: Exposure to acidic foods and beverages is thought to increase the risk of developing dental erosion. The authors hypothesized that the erosion potential of sour candies was greater than the erosion potential of original-flavor versions of the candies.

Methods: The authors measured the pH and titratable acidity of candies dissolved in artificial saliva or water. They then measured the lesion depths of enamel surfaces exposed to candy slurries for 25 hours. Statistical analyses included two-sample t tests and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests to identify differences between original-flavor and sour candies, as well as correlations to identify relationships between lesion depths, pH and titratable acidity.

Results: The study results show that lesion depths generally were greater after exposure of enamel to sour candies than they were after exposure of enamel to original-flavor candies, as well as for candies dissolved in water compared with those dissolved in artificial saliva. Lesion depths were negatively associated with the initial slurry pH and positively associated with titratable acidity.

Conclusions: Both original-flavor and sour versions of candies are potentially erosive, with sour candies being of greater concern. Although saliva might protect against the erosive effects of original-flavor candies, it is much less likely to protect against the erosive effects of sour candies.

Clinical implications: People at risk of developing candy-associated erosion, particularly those with a high intake of candy, pocketing behaviors or decreased salivary flow, should receive preventive guidance regarding candy-consuming habits.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acids / adverse effects*
  • Acids / chemistry
  • Candy / adverse effects*
  • Candy / analysis
  • Dental Enamel Solubility
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Saliva, Artificial / chemistry
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tooth Erosion / chemically induced*


  • Acids
  • Saliva, Artificial