1.1 Background Research
The problem statement is what the effects of various beverages on our teeth are. We had chosen this problem statement because in this modern day and age, there is a wide variety of drinks for consumers to choose from that are on sale on the market. However, the general public still does not recognize the various effects, good or bad, these beverages have on our teeth. We would also test the effects of various other liquids like saliva, water and white vinegar, on our teeth, or more specifically, our enamel, the outermost layer of our teeth. Although there is plenty of information on the effects of these beverages on our teeth on the internet, most of them are just speculations and the people who have written these articles have not tested the actual effects of the drinks on teeth. Thus, we chose this problem statement to solve
As explained by Ren, YF (2011), dental erosion occurs when the enamel and dentin, the hard mineralized surface of and calcified tissue in our teeth respectively, are exposed to non-bacterial acids of external and internal origins, causing a loss of dental tissues. Tooth decay softens the tooth surface, which accelerates tissue loss caused by tooth-to-tooth contact while chewing and grinding. If tooth decay is not managed properly, it could result in a significant loss of enamel and subsequent exposure of dentin.
Most drinks, such as carbonated drinks, fruit juices, and sports drinks are exclusively acidic in nature to deter rapid growth of bacteria. The relationship between soft drinks and dental erosion have been extensively researched, many showing positive results.
According to Wikipedia (2014), Calcium Carbonate is found in rocks, sea-shells, and egg-shells. It is an active material in agricultural lime. Calcium carbonate is consumed as a source of protein.
Our teeth is composed of hydroxyapatite, a form of calcium crystal. Making calcium carbonate the ideal model to simulate a human tooth, as both are composed of calcium and are in a solid state.
Coca Cola is mainly made up of high fructose corn syrup, coloring, caffeine, phosphoric acid, lime extract, and vanilla. The ingredient that is overwhelmingly added is the sugar/sucrose.
Wikipedia (2014) Saliva is made out of 99.5% water and 0.5% mucus, amylase and other materials. Thus, we used 1% amylase to stimulate saliva.
Aiding the chemical process of food digestion in humans, Amylase is present in the saliva of humans. Amylase is an enzyme that catalyses the chemical breakdown of starch into sugars and has a pH level of 6.7 to 7.0.
1.2 Research Question
Which type of liquids are the most corrosive to the enamel layer?
If you drink corrosive beverages, it will result in loss in dental enamel and dentin mass.
1.3.1 Independent variable(s)
The types of liquids used in the experiment
1.3.2 Dependent variable
The mass of the marble pieces that are representing the teeth.
The rate of decrease or increase of the marble piece’s weight that represent teeth.
a) The amount of liquid used
b) The initial mass of the ‘teeth’
c) The period of time for the corrosion to take place