Exposure to alkaline substances can damage teeth

By | October 27, 2009

Exposure to alkaline substances can damage teeth

… 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 whilst the inorganic component is made up of calcium hydroxylapatite and calcium fluorapatite. …

via News Detail – The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Leave a Reply