J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2013 Dec;37(4):180-186.

Effect of commercial alcoholic drinks on sound enamel surface of bovine teeth

  • 1Department of Preventive & Public Health Dentistry, Chonnam National University School of Dentistry, Gwangju, Korea. hochoi@chonnam.ac.kr
  • 2Dental Science Research Institute, Chonnam National University School of Dentistry, Gwangju, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the change in surface microhardness of sound enamel of bovine teeth due to commercial alcoholic drinks.
The experiment group comprised of wines, makgeollis, and beers with low pH, while distilled water was used as the control. The two experiment groups were administered soju having the highest (SojuH) and lowest (SojuL) pH. Drinking wines were classified into 2 groups: agitated (wine A) and non-agitated (wine NA) wines. The pH values, buffering capacity, and concentrations of fluorine, calcium, and phosphorus of both the wine groups were measured. Eighty-four bovine specimens were divided into seven groups (N=12) and were immersed for 1, 3, 5, 10, 30, 60, and 120 min, respectively. The surface microhardness was measured using a microhardness tester before and after treatment with each alcoholic drink. After 120 min, the enamel surface was examined using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The statistical methods used in this study were one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and repeated-measure ANOVA.
The differences in the surface microhardness (DeltaVHN) values obtained before and after treatment for 120 min were statistically significant among groups. Makgeolli, wine A, and wine NA significantly eroded the enamel after 120 min. However, sojuH and sojuL had an effect similar to that of distilled water, which was used in the control group. Beer caused slight enamel erosion. SEM images revealed that makgeolli, wine A, and wine NA caused significant erosion of the enamel surface, while beer caused slight erosion. SEM observation results were similar to those obtained after surface microhardness evaluation.
The study findings suggest that alcoholic drinks, such as makgeolli and wine, with organic acids and a pH value less than 4.0 can cause tooth enamel erosion. Therefore, alcoholic drinks with low pH values and organic acid composition should not be retained for long periods in the mouth.


Alcoholic drinks; Buffering capacity; Dental erosion; pH
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