There are several causes of erosion – acidic foods and drinks have been implicated and reducing their erosive potential would seem an important area of research. Calcium-citrate-malate (CCM) appeared to have potentially useful properties as an anti-erosion additive. The study aims were to test the ability of an intra-oral enamel slab system to measure erosion and to compare the erosive potential of a citric acid-based orange juice drink either with or without added CCM and a positive and negative control. Eleven adults wore an upper removable appliance for four periods each of 6 days. Each appliance held two enamel slabs which were inserted into the test drinks for 15 min 4 times a day for 6 days. Loss of enamel was quantified by profiling casts of the enamel slabs taken before and after the test period. Loss of enamal was greatest during exposure to a diet phosphoric acid-based cola drink (p < 0.001) but was similar during exposure to the two citric acid-based orange drinks, with or without CCM, and distilled water. The loss of surface enamel measured from a scanning electron micrograph agreed well with the measurement obtained by profilometry. It can be concluded that (a) the intra-oral enamel slab system was able to discriminate between drinks in their erosive potential, and (b) it was not possible to determine if CCM had any potential for reduction in erosion in an acid beverage as the level of erosion observed for both the critic acid-based orange drinks was not statistically significantly different from that observed with distilled water.

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