A Pilot Study into the Effect of Whisky, Wine and Beer Consumption on Tooth Surface Dissolution
Aim: To assess the potential of acute alcohol consumption to dissolve tooth surfaces and to evaluate the difference in the dissolution potential of whisky, beer and wine.
Methods: The study sample comprised 36 healthy male volunteers with mean age of 26.27 (SD-1.96) years (range 25-30 years). The study design involved randomly allocating the 36 individuals into three groups of alcohol consumption (whisky, beer, wine) with 12 subjects in each group. Two samples of paraffin stimulated whole saliva were collected, at baseline and immediately after consumption of alcohol. Saliva was subjected to chemical analysis for pH, ionic calcium and inorganic phosphate. Results: There was a significant difference for mean change in salivary pH, calcium and inorganic phosphate between the three alcohol groups. A significant reduction in the mean pH was observed after consumption of any form of alcoholic drink (mean change=-1.34, p=0.0001). Beer consumers had highest reduction in mean pH (1.75) followed by the wine (1.13) and whisky consumers (1.12) (p=0.045, p=0.087 respectively). Mean calcium (mean change=5.75, p=0.0001) and inorganic phosphate (mean change=8.42, p=0.003) concentration significantly increased in the whole study sample. Mean inorganic phosphate and calcium concentrations increased after consumption of whisky and wine while a drop in their concentrations was observed in beer consumers. Conclusions: Salivary pH decreased significantly in subjects belonging to all the three groups. In both whisky and wine groups, there was a rise in salivary inorganic phosphate concentration while only whisky was able to dissolve calcium from the tooth surfaces.