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New Findings: The Impact of Acidic Drinks on Tooth Wear and Hypersensitivity


I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Dr. Saoirse O’Toole, Clinical Lecturer in Prosthodontics at King’s College London. Dr. O’Toole authored a flurry of articles about tooth wear and hypersensitivity and she came on to further speak about the latest in research on these topics.

References for the articles that are the subject of this conversation are referenced below. 

If you wish to leave a comment, ask a question, or make a suggestion to improve the content on our website, please feel free to send us an email at oasisdiscussions@cda-adc.ca or call our toll-free number 1855-716-2747.

Until next time!

Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manager


  • Contact time between the tooth and the acid may be a more important risk factor for dentine hypersensitivity to frequency of dietary acid intake or frequency of toothbrushing. Other possible aetiological factors should be considered.
  • Increased contact time with dietary acids and sipping swishing or holding drinks in the mouth prior to swallowing should be addressed as an aetiological factor in dentin hypersensitivity. Toothpaste abrasivity and toothbrush filament stiffness may play a greater role in dentin hypersensitivity compared to frequency of toothbrushing.
  • Significantly increased odds ratios were observed when acids were consumed between meals in this cohort of patients. Universal advice to delay brushing after meals may not be substantiated. 
  • Prevention should be focused on avoiding dietary acids between meals, eliminating habits which increase contact time with the acid and reducing daily intake of acidic drinks. Toothbrushing after meals was not associated with tooth erosive wear. tooth brushing immediately after an acid challenge requires further investigation. 
  • The daily intake of soft drinks was associated with tooth wear, while those of fruits, fruit juices, and alcoholic drinks were not. The consumption of soft drinks with meals was the only factor consistently associated with tooth wear, irrespective of the method used to define meals versus snacks. The above associations were found with the number of surfaces with tooth wear (among those with the condition), but not with the odds of having tooth wear (among all participants).
  • The consumption of soft drinks with meals was associated with moderate-to-severe tooth wear among American adults. Other acidic foods and beverages were not associated with tooth wear, regardless of their timing of consumption.


Read/download the interview transcript (PDF)

Oasis Moment (1.98″)


Full Conversation (9.32″)


  1. O’Toole S, Bernabé E, Moazzez R, Bartlett D. Timing of dietary acid intake and erosive tooth wear: A case-control study. J Dent. 2017 Jan;56:99-104. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2016.11.005. Epub 2016 Nov 14.
  2. O’Toole S, Bartlett D. The relationship between dentine hypersensitivity, dietary acid intake and erosive tooth wear. J Dent. 2017 Dec;67:84-87. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2017.10.002. Epub 2017 Oct 7
  3. Al-Zwaylif LH, O’Toole S, Bernabé E. Type and timing of dietary acid intake and tooth wear among American adults. J Public Health Dent. 2018 Jan 11. doi: 10.1111/jphd.12264. [Epub ahead of print]
  4. O’Toole S, Newton T, Moazzez R, Hasan A, Bartlett D. Randomised Controlled Clinical Trial Investigating The Impact of Implementation Planning on Behaviour Related to The Diet. Sci Rep. 2018 May 23;8(1):8024. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-26418-0.




  1. George boutros August 16, 2018

    Acidity causes abrasion filled by sensitivity is a very old known matter. I just misunderstand what do you mean by new findings?? Thank you.
    My regards.

    1. JCDA Oasis August 16, 2018

      Hello Dr. Boutros,

      Thank you for reaching out. The novelty in the research findings is the frequency in relation to the number of acidic intakes. Previous research studies looked at the number of beverages on a weekly basis and couldn’t find an odds ratio relationship (increased or decreased risk of wearing and eroding teeth). However, Dr. O’Toole’s research looked at the number of acidic beverages on a daily basis and found that the more one drinks acidic beverages per day, the greater the risk of wearing and eroding teeth. So if one drinks 2 beverages per day, their risk is evaluated at the value of 4. But, if they drink 3 or more beverages, the risk jumps to a value of 13/14; so they are 13 times more at risk of wearing their teeth.

      I hope this clarifies the concept.
      Take care,
      Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manager

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