In vitro human dental enamel erosion by three different wine samples.
The aim of this study was to investigate the erosive effect of different wine samples on the enamel of human permanent teeth. Twenty-one extracted, sound, permanent human incisor teeth were imbedded in epoxy resin and seven immersed in each of the three different wine samples for 0, 2, 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60 minute periods. The Knoop hardness for each tooth at each of the immersed periods was determined as a measure of the degree of enamel erosion (demineralisation). The main finding was that all three wines eroded enamel (softer enamel) which should mainly be due to their very low pH values (3.2, 3.7, 3.8) and high total acid content. From the Wilcoxon non-parametric tests it was clear that wine 2 had the severest influence on the hardness of the teeth, and the wines differed significantly (p < 1%) from 30 minutes onwards. These tests showed that wine 1 differed significantly from wine 2 from 30 minutes onwards and so did wine 3, but wines 1 and 3 did not differ at all (p > 5%). It is concluded that all three wine samples were erosive to enamel and it is difficult to predict the relative erosion rate of different kinds of wines according to their chemical compositions, as this process is most probably governed and affected by a large number of a combination of factors. The only reliable way to know the exact degree of erosion of a specific wine is by means of a laboratory study. Possible ways to decrease the damaging effect of erosion caused by wine are provided.