Lubrication of human and bovine enamel compared in an artificial mouth

E. S. Reeh, W. H. Douglas, M. J. Levine

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25 Scopus citations


Bovine enamel has been a good model for human enamel across a broad range of studies. The present work sought to consider if bovine enamel would be a suitable substitute for human enamel in experiments on simulated oral lubrication. Enamel samples of the same size were prepared from bovine and human teeth for use as maxillary and mandibular elements in a miniature artificial mouth. Sliding speeds from 1.99 to 7.84 mm/s and occlusal forces of 3.8-19.5 N were used. Water and four solutions consisting of a mucin-rich fraction, a statherin-rich fraction, 3[(3-cholamidopropyl)-dimethylammonio]-1-propanesulphonate and sodium dodecyl sulphate were evaluated. The high correlations between widely different lubricants on the two enamel substrates gives confidence in the use of bovine enamel as a model for human enamel in salivary lubrication studies. Knoop hardness indentations on enamel samples were combined with friction data and calculations of the true contact area to give a method for the indirect determination of surface shear. The calculated surface shear value was compared with published values obtained by punch shear testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1072
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgement--This investigation was supported in part by USPHS Grant DE08240 from the National Institute of Dental Research, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


  • enamel
  • friction
  • hardness
  • lubrication
  • shear strength


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