Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Exposure to alkaline substances can result in damaged teeth

28.10.2009
It has long been known that acids can erode tooth enamel but a new Swedish study from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that strong alkaline substances can damage teeth too - substances with high pH values can destroy parts of the organic content of the tooth, leaving the enamel more vulnerable.

The study was carried out at the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy and published in the Journal of Dentistry.

"The study shows that exposure to alkaline substances can result in damaged teeth, but that the process is different to that caused by exposure to acidic drinks or acidic industrial vapours," says Fabian Taube, occupational hygienist and one of the researchers behind the study.

It was occupational injuries from reconditioning of cars that attracted the attention of the researchers. The common denominator was exposure to an alkaline degreaser that was sprayed onto various parts of the cars. The spray turned out to have a pH value of between 12 and 14, which is very alkaline.

"Exposure to this substance damaged the surface of the teeth resulting in "flaked" enamel," says Jörgen Norén, professor/senior dental officer at the Sahlgrenska Academy. "This type of damage markedly increases the risk of caries and other dental damage."

Alkaline degreasers are used in the food industry, among other things to clean professional kitchens, but are also common in car care industry and to remove vandalism painting.

"Occupational damage to teeth from exposure to alkaline substances is probably not as common as damage from acidic substances, but it becomes a problem when employers fail to inform employees of the risks or do not give them access to the right protective equipment," says Taube.

The study exposed extracted teeth to degreasers and other alkaline solutions. Enamel samples were then examined with a scanning electron microscope and analysed using various spectroscopic methods. The researchers found that organic material on the surface of the tooth dissolves rapidly. The results indicate that the organic components of the enamel are also affected, as the enamel becomes more porous.

"However, we were not able to show that alkaline substances change the composition of the minerals that constitute the main component of enamel," says Taube. "In that sense, it differs from the effects of exposure to acids."

The study was carried out with funding from the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS) and the Magnus Bergvall Foundation, among others.

TOOTH ENAMEL
Enamel, the body's hardest tissue, forms a layer over the teeth that is up to two millimetres thick. Just two per cent of the enamel is organic material, with the rest comprising various minerals and water. The organic component is made up of protein, lipids and citrate, whilst the inorganic component is made up of calcium hydroxylapatite and calcium fluorapatite.

For more information, please contact:

Journal: Journal of Dentistry
Title of article: Morphological and chemical characterization of tooth enamel exposed to alkaline agents.
Authors: Taube F, Ylmén R, Shchukarev A, Nietzsche S, Norén JG
PubMed ID: 19781592

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>