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VOLUME 8 , ISSUE 7 ( November, 2007 ) > List of Articles


The Erosive Potential of Soft Drinks on Enamel Surface Substrate: An In Vitro Scanning Electron Microscopy Investigation

Barry M. Owens, Michael Kitchens

Citation Information : Owens BM, Kitchens M. The Erosive Potential of Soft Drinks on Enamel Surface Substrate: An In Vitro Scanning Electron Microscopy Investigation. J Contemp Dent Pract 2007; 8 (7):11-20.

DOI: 10.5005/jcdp-8-7-11

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Published Online: 01-01-2009

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2007; The Author(s).



Using scanning electron and light microscopy, this study qualitatively evaluated the erosive potential of carbonated cola beverages as well as sports and high-energy drinks on enamel surface substrate.

Methods and Materials

Beverages used in this study included: Coca Cola Classic®, Diet Coke®, Gatorade® sports drink, Red Bull® high-energy drink, and tap water (control). Extracted human permanent molars free of hypocalcification and/or caries were used in this study. The coronal portion of each tooth was removed and sectioned longitudinally from the buccal to the lingual surface. The crown sections were embedded in acrylic resin, leaving the enamel surfaces exposed. Following finishing and polishing of all surfaces, one side was covered with red nail varnish while the remaining side was exposed to individual beverage immersion for 14 days, 24 hours per day, at 37°C. The specimens were evaluated for enamel surface changes using scanning electron and light microscopy.


Enamel specimens exhibited visual surface changes following immersion in the test beverages with Red Bull® and Gatorade® revealing the most striking surface morphological changes. Specimens subjected to Coca Cola Classic® and Diet Coke® immersion also displayed irregular post-treatment surface morphology.


As verified by microscopic evaluation, all test beverages displayed enamel dissolution in the following order: Red Bull®>Gatorade®>Coca-Cola Classic®>Diet Coke®.


Owens BM, Kitchens M. The Erosive Potential of Soft Drinks on Enamel Surface Substrate: An In Vitro Scanning Electron Microscopy Investigation. J Contemp Dent Pract 2007 November; (8)7:011-020.

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