Background: Among health-conscious individuals, including vegetarians, salads dressed with vinegar are frequently consumed. Dental erosion can also be caused by an acidic diet, and occurs with increasing tendency. The aim of this study was to analyze the erosive potential of vinegar varieties on human enamel samples.
Methods: A total of 30 vinegar varieties were selected. Enamel samples were prepared from human wisdom teeth, and the specially prepared enamel slices were incubated with 5 selected vinegars (Bio vinegar, pH = 3.1; raspberry vinegar, pH = 2.7; Condimento Balsamico, pH = 3.95; Ortalli Bianco Modena, pH = 2.7; Vinaigre de Jerez, pH = 2.9) for up to 8 hours. Controls were incubated with a 0.9% sodium chloride solution. The quantitative analysis of CaO, P2O5, F, MgO, Cl, and O in the enamel samples (incubation: 4, 8 hours) in various depths ranging from 7.5 - 105 µm was carried out using an electron probe micro-analyser (Jeol JXA 8900RL). Linear mixed models were fitted to analyze statistically relevant differences between the different vinegars at various depth levels.
Results: Incubating the enamel slices with the selected vinegars caused a release of minerals, which was dependent on time and type of vinegar. The vinegar Ortalli Bianco Modena led to a slight loss (1%) of the mineral CaO in a depth up to 20 µm, while the loss of minerals caused by raspberry vinegar in a depth of up to 30 µm was about 20% (4 hours). The greatest loss of the minerals was detected for the Bio Vinegar. After 8 hours incubation, a loss of minerals of about 20% in a depth of 45 µm and in a depth of 60 µm of 16% could be observed. Both, the Bio Vinegar and the raspberry vinegar led to a significantly higher loss of minerals (p < 0.0001) than all other tested vinegars.
Conclusions: In this in vitro study, the erosive potential of different vinegar varieties on human enamel samples could be demonstrated. However, it must be considered that numerous modifying factors influence the enamel surface in vivo; therefore, a direct translation to in vitro conditions can only be done with caution.