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VOLUME 10 , ISSUE 3 ( May, 2009 ) > List of Articles


The Role of Saliva in Dental Erosion and a Prosthetic Approach to Treatment: A Case Report

Andac Barkin Bavbek, Orhan Murat Dogan, Tamer Yilmaz, Arife Dogan

Citation Information : Bavbek AB, Dogan OM, Yilmaz T, Dogan A. The Role of Saliva in Dental Erosion and a Prosthetic Approach to Treatment: A Case Report. J Contemp Dent Pract 2009; 10 (3):74-80.

DOI: 10.5005/jcdp-10-3-74

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Published Online: 01-06-2012

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2009; The Author(s).



The aim of this report is to describe the relationship of some salivary parameters to dental erosion resulting from excessive citric acid consumption and present a description of a prosthetic approach used to restore the damaged dentition of a patient with severe erosion.


The high consumption of dietary sources of acids can lead to erosion or the excessive wear of dental hard tissues. Erosion may be modified by salivary parameters such as flow rate, pH, and buffering capacity. Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) restorations and composite resin veneers can be used successfully to restore impaired esthetics and eliminate tooth hypersensitivity in such cases.


A 37-year-old woman with a history of excessive lemon consumption presented with a complaint of tooth hypersensitivity and the poor appearance of her dentition due to erosion. Stimulated and unstimulated salivary samples of the patient were evaluated for flow rate, pH, and buffering capacity before and after treatment. The pre-treatment values were found to be higher than post-treatment values. Stimulated samples showed an increase of salivary flow rate, pH, and buffering capacity. The measured parameters put forth the defensive potential of saliva against the acidic diet, and the salivary flow rate and buffering capacity decreased after reducing acidic consumption. The excessively eroded teeth were restored using PFM restorations whereas the superficially eroded teeth were restored with composite resins.


The introduction of acidic foods, beverages, or other agents can exceed the natural buffering capacity of saliva. The result is a lowering of the pH of the oral environment which can lead to erosion of enamel and dentin. Loss of tooth structure due to erosion can compromise the esthetics of the dentition and lead to hypersensitivity of the teeth. Teeth damaged by erosion can be successfully restored by composite resin or porcelain restorations and esthetics and function of dentition can be improved.

Clinical Significance

This report is a profound example of how the over consumption of acidic agents affect not only dental tissues but also the chemical balance of the oral environment as well as the oral habitat.


Bavbek AB, Dogan OM, Yilmaz T, Dogan A. The Role of Saliva in Dental Erosion and a Prosthetic Approach to Treatment: A Case Report. J Contemp Dent Pract 2009 May; (10)3:074-080.

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