J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2017 Sep;41(3):222-227. 10.11149/jkaoh.2017.41.3.222.

Effects of commercial tea beverages containing citric acid on tooth surfaces

  • 1Department of Preventive Dentistry and Public Oral Health, Yonsei University College of Dentistry, Seoul, Korea. yspd8050@naver.com


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the erosive potential of tea beverages containing citric acid on tooth surfaces.
Specimens of extracted bovine teeth enamel were embedded in resin and polished. The specimens were subjected to one of three treatments (n=10 per treatment group): mineral water, brewed black tea, or black tea beverage. Tooth specimens were exposed to the treatment for 30 minutes and then analyzed using Vickers surface hardness testing and scanning electron microscopy.
After 30 minutes of treatment, there were statistically significant differences between the hardness of the enamel pre- and post-treatment in both, the brewed black tea and black tea beverage groups (P<0.05). The differences in microhardness (ΔVHN) were "•71.49±14.99, "•9.05±10.25, and "•2.43±15.44 in the black tea beverage, brewed black tea, and mineral water groups, respectively. In the difference of microhardness (ΔVHN) between groups, the black tea beverage group showed significantly greater changes than the brewed black tea and mineral water groups (P<0.05). However, there was no significant difference between the brewed black tea group and the mineral water group (P>0.05).On observation using a scanning electron microscope, the tooth surfaces exposed to the black tea beverage containing citric acid were rougher than the tooth surfaces in the other two groups.
This study demonstrates the erosive potential of citric acid-containing tea beverages on tooth surfaces. Thus, there is need to caution people regularly consuming tea beverages containing citric acid, regarding the possibility of tooth surface erosion.


Citric acid; Dental erosion; Tea beverage
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