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Effects of cola drinks on the morphology and elastic modulus of dentin
Sanjiv Shrivastava
, Katerina E. Aifantis
Physics University of the Witwatersrand, PO WITS 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa
Lab of Mechanics and Materials, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
Physics, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
a b s t r a c ta r t i c l e i n f o
 Article history:
Received 14 December 2010Accepted 15 April 2011Available online 20 April 2011
DentinElastic modulusPhosphoric acidCola
The mechanical and morphological degradation that human dentin undergoes after prolonged exposure incola drinks was examined using nanoindentation and AFM. The elastic modulus of the dentin prior colaexposurewas 18.28±1.7 GPa,while afterexposureithad decreased to4.21.4 GPaonthesurface thatwasin direct contact with the drink, and to 13.38±2.9 GPa on the surface that was in indirect contact with thedrink. AFM documented the corrosion effects of the cola through topography images and histograms of theRMS roughness.© 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Understandingtheeffectthatfruitjuiceshaveonteethhasbecomeof particular interest during the past years, since complete reminer-alizationbythesalivaisnotpossibleafterexposuretocitricacid.In[1]pro
lometry was used to capture the mass loss that took place afterenamel immersion in orange juice, and atomic force microscopy(AFM) images documented that the surface became rougher, andhence more prone to bacteria adhesion and plaque formation[2],while nanoindentation experiments recorded a 85% hardness de-crease after juice exposure[3].However, it is not only fruit juices that are highly corrosive. Softdrinks, particularly those containing phosphoric acid, are alsodamaging, but have not been studied to a similar extent. Initial insitu studies concerning the effect that colas have on teeth wereperformed in[4,5]. Pro
lometry and indentation were used toindicate mass reduction and the percentage reduction of the surfacemicrohardness. However, hardness or elastic modulus values werenot given and microscopy was not performed to illustrate themorphological damage.The present study is concerned with the degradation that theelastic modulus of dentin undergoes after prolonged exposure in acoladrink,whosemainacidicingredientisphosphoricacid.
Dentinisa highly mineralized tissue, that consists of approximately 50%mineral, 30% organic components (mostly type I collagen) and 20%
uids. Its distinct microstructure is characterized by tubules (1
min diameter) that run from the dentin
enamel junction towards thepulp[6,7]. Micropores and channels created at the dentin
enamel junction[8], in addition, to microcracks on the enamel surface allowfor acidic solutions to permeate into the dentin and corrode it,especially since remineralization is more dif 
cult, as saliva do notreach the dentin easily. It is anticipated that once phosphoric acidpenetrates into the dentin, it is not removed easily, but trapped there.Hence the dentin sample was exposed to the cola for 16 h. Themechanical and morphological degradation were captured throughnanoindentation and AFM.
2. Materials and methods
The premolar tooth tested was obtained from an adult incisionand was sliced using a microtome along the labiolingual plane. Theresultingspecimenhadathicknessof2 mmandanareaof1 cm×1 cm;as they were cross sectional they consisted mainly of dentin. Bothsurfaces (upper and bottom) of the sample were polished usingabrasive paper from 800 to 1200 grit, followed by 0.25
m diamondpaste polishing.AFM and nanoindentation were performed prior to immersing thesample in the cola. AFM was carried out using the Veeco Multimode,under tapping mode, with a Si
tip with a tip radius of 12 nm.Following AFM, 50 nanoindentations were performed using a CSMinstrument with a Berkovich diamond tip (tip radius was 150 nm).The indentations were load controlled, and a linear loading trapezoi-dal sequence was used (maximum load was 200 mN, and a hold timeof 20 s was allowed). The spacing between the indents was 50
m, soas to ensure that each indentation was not in
uenced by that
Corresponding author at: Physics, Michigan Technological University, Houghton,MI 49931, USA. Tel.: +30 2310 995921.
E-mail address:
kaifanti@mtu.edu(K.E. Aifantis).
) hasapH of 1.1andisamainingredientin colas.Itisstrongerthan citric acid (5% citric acid has a pH of 1.87), which is also used in carbonated sodas.0167-577X/$
see front matter © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.matlet.2011.04.046
Contents lists available atScienceDirect
Materials Letters
 journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/matlet
preceding it. It should be noted that the experiment was repeated ontwo samples obtained from the same premolar tooth.Once the microstructure and elastic modulus of the as-polishedsurface were recorded, the samples were placed in a beaker, whichwas then
lled with 30 ml of a freshly opened cola drink can. Theentire sample was covered by the drink; particularly, the uppersurfacewasdirectlyexposedtothecola,whilethebottomsurfacewasindirectly exposed, as it was in contact with the beaker. After 16 h thesamples were rinsed with methanol by agitation and placed directlyunder the nanoindenter without removing the lubricant that thedrink had formed on the upper surface. Fifty indentations wereperformed using the same parameters as before immersion on bothsurfaces of the samples. Once the elastic modulus was recorded, AFMwas performed on the bottom surface. Thereafter, the samples werestored in a dry environment to allow for evaporation of the cola. After1 week 50 nanoindentations were again performed on both surfaces;however, on the upper surface the lubricant that had formed by thecola was removed with a methanol soaked cotton swab. Ultrasonica-tion was not used to remove this lubricant, as it introduces visible-cracking.
3. Results and discussion
 3.1. Microstructure of dentin before and after cola immersion
InFig. 1a the microstructure of the as polished dentin surfaces isillustrated (both top and bottom surfaces had the same microstructureat the start of the experiment). In order to have a visual comparison of the effect that the cola had, AFM was performed on the bottom surfaceafterthe16himmersion(Fig.1b).Themicrotubular(porous)structureof the dentin is seen and the RMS roughness was found to be97±13.5 nm prior to cola immersion, while it was 80±4 nm
afterimmersion. By qualitatively comparingFig. 1a and b it can be seen thatsigni
cant corrosion resulted from the cola immersion. This corrosioneffect is better illustrated by quantitatively comparing the line pro
lesacross a dentin microtubule. InFig. 2a, therefore, the average linepro
les across the tubules obtained fromFig. 1a and b are plottedtogether, along with that obtained 1 week after the tooth was exposedto cola. It is seen that after cola exposure both the depth of the tubuleand the slope of the line pro
le decreased. This indicates that inadditiontocorrodingthesurface ofthedentin,thelipandinnerwallof thetubuleswerealsocorroded,duringcolaexposure,givingagranular-like structure; as a result the tubule walls became slopped and thecorroded sub-micron particles
lled in the inner tubules giving them alowerheight.Fig.2bcomparesthenormalizedroughnesshistogramfortopography images with bin (0
255) for three cases: as-polished, afterimmersion,and 1-weekafterimmersioninthe cola.The negative skewof the distribution for the after immersion cases produces a lowerroughness value, while the distribution for the as-polished is almostGaussian. The negative skewness could have occurred only due tocorrosion. The as polished surface appears to have a higher RMSroughness since the tubule depth was greater before corrosion. Itshould be noted thatFig. 2was derived from the AFM images of thebottom surface after immersion. AFM could not be performed on theupper surface as it had undergone such corrosion that the AFM tipbroke due to the roughness.
Fig. 1.
3D images of (a) as polished dentin and (b) bottom surface after cola immersion.
RMS roughness as measured using the software WSxM v.5.0.
Fig. 2.
(a) Line pro
le across dentin tubules. (b) Normalized roughness histogram (color image online).2255
S. Shrivastava, K.E. Aifantis / Materials Letters 65 (2011) 2254

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