ISSN 1556-6757














Volume 1, Issue 1, 2009, ISSN 2150-7899
Determination of pH, total acid, and total ethanol in oral health products: oxidation of ethanol and
recommendations to mitigate its association with dental caries
Chunhye Kim Lee and Brian C. Schmitz


Acidity contributes to the development of dental caries. The source of this acidity is often attributed to sugar fermentation by endogenous bacteria in the mouth, or to acidic foods and drinks, which lower salivary pH. Paradoxically, oral health mouthwashes may also cause dental caries, largely due to the inclusion of ethanol (EtOH/"alcohol") as an antiseptic agent, which can be oxidized to acetic acid. However, the potential deleterious effect of these mouthwashes has not been adequately assessed, nor have the chemical changes in pH and total ethanol been
evaluated over time. Here we present data demonstrating changes to pH, total acid, and total ethanol in several popular mouthwashes over time. These changes increase acidity and thus demonstrate an increased risk of dental caries.  Finally, we evaluate the chemical mechanism of these changes, and propose preventable solutions. Full Article