Erosive potential of food products, beverages and oral health care products

Research Opportunity
Honours
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Number of Master Places Available
1
Department
Melbourne Dental School
Location
Royal Dental Hospital Melbourne
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Peiyan Shen peiyan@unimelb.edu.au
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Glenn Walker

Summary Project is to increase our understanding of tooth erosion and to develop strategies to prevent erosion using established state-of-the art methods for quantifying loss of the tooth surface, measuring tooth mineral content changes and observing changes to dentinal tubules.

Project Details

Tooth erosion is caused by dissolution of the tooth surface by acids that do not originate from bacteria. Both tooth enamel and dentine can be eroded over time following long term exposure to acids in the mouth originating from acid-containing food products and beverages. Some acid-containing oral health care products may also have erosive potential. Tooth erosion is becoming a more significant clinical problem due to increased consumption of acidic foods and beverages. Erosion of tooth surfaces can lead to poor aesthetics and weakening of the tooth structure. In addition, erosion of dentine can lead to tooth sensitivity due to opening and widening of microscopic dentinal tubules that extend from the surface of the dentine to the pulp (nerve) of the tooth. Projects are available to increase our understanding of tooth erosion and to develop strategies to prevent erosion using established state-of-the art methods for quantifying loss of the tooth surface, measuring tooth mineral content changes and observing changes to dentinal tubules. Specifically, projects are available to:

  1. measure erosion of tooth surfaces exposed to various food, beverage and oral health care products;
  2. test the ability of novel oral health care products to prevent or repair dental erosion.

One compound with the potential to prevent dental erosion is a derivative of the major milk protein casein combined with calcium and phosphate called casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP). Oral health care products designed to prevent dental erosion may be tested and may include mouthrinses, toothpastes, gels, dental cremes and dental varnishes containing CPP-ACP with or without fluoride. Methods to decrease or eliminate the erosive potential of some of these products by addition of calcium or CPP-ACP with or without fluoride may also be tested. These projects will be laboratory experiments on pre-sterilized human tooth enamel or dentine. Erosive potential can be investigated using established chemical analytical techniques such as measurement of pH, titratable acidity and chemical composition. Measurement of erosion on enamel and dentine surfaces may include a variety of techniques including surface profilometry, surface microhardness, confocal laser scanning microscopy and transverse microradiography. Changes in the architecture of tooth surfaces and diameters of dentinal tubules may be observed using scanning electron microscopy.


School Research Themes

Clinical Research



Research Opportunities

Honours
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Melbourne Dental School

Research Node

Royal Dental Hospital Melbourne

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