Biological factors - Dentine

The general erosion process with dentine is the same as in enamel, but as there is a higher content of organic material in dentine the consequences are different.

Organic layer formation:

  • The organic material is not dissolved by acid as quickly as in dentine. With time, an organic matrix layer is formed.
  • This matrix gets thicker and acts more and more like a diffusion barrier
  • Thereby slowing down the erosive process.

Dentine hypersensitivity:

  • Increased exposure to acidic products leads to opening, hollowing and funnelling of the tubules (Parkinson 2008).
  • Dentinal tubules are fluid filled and ‘funnel-shaped’ with an increasing diameter towards the pulp.
  • A loss of dentine at the surface therefore results in wider opened tubules, which again leads to an increased potential fluid flow (West 2007).
  • According to the hydrodynamic theory, developed by (Brännström 1963), dentine (hyper-)sensitivity is based on innertubular fluid flow.

In contrast to destroyed enamel, damaged dentine may have the ability to regenerate with new sclerotic or reactive dentine (Pickles 2006). However, reactive dentine cannot be formed on eroded tooth surfaces, but only at the pulp-dentinal interface.