In situ remineralization of eroded enamel lesions by NaF rinses

MS Mathews, BT Amaechi, K Ramalingam, RA Ccahuana-Vasquez, IP Chedjieu, AC Mackey, RL Karlinsey. In situ remineralization of eroded enamel lesions by NaF rinses. Archives of Oral Biology 57, 525 (2012).


Objective: The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the remineralisation of eroded enamel by NaF rinses in an intra-oral model. Methods: Serving as their own control, subjects (N = 80) participated in a randomised, four-leg (20 subjects/leg), 28-day, parallel design study. In each leg, each participant wore a customised orthodontic bracket attached to a mandibular molar that contained one tooth block having an initial erosive lesion (0.3% citric acid, pH 3.75, 2 h). Within the 28-day period, participants engaged in twice-daily brushing for 1 min with a fluoride-free dentifrice followed by 1-min rinsing with one of the following aqueous rinses: fluoride-free (0 ppm F), 225 ppm F, 225 ppm F plus functionalised β-tricalcium phosphate (fTCP), and 450 ppm F. Following intra-oral exposure, appliances were removed and specimens were analysed using surface microhardness (SMH) and transverse microradiography (TMR). Results: Statistically significant (p < 0.05) remineralisation, as determined by SMH and TMR, of the eroded enamel relative to baseline occurred for each fluoride system. No significant differences in SMH were observed amongst the fluoride groups (p > 0.05), however, 225 ppm plus fTCP produced 27% and 7% SMH indent length reduction relative to 225 ppm F and 450 ppm F, respectively. No significant differences in TMR were observed amongst the fluoride groups (p > 0.05), however, 225 ppm F plus fTCP and 450 ppm F produced significant (p < 0.05) mineral gains relative to the fluoride-free control, whilst 225 ppm F did not (p > 0.05). Relative to the 225 ppm F group, the 450 ppm F and 225 ppm F plus fTCP groups produced 65% and 61% greater mineral change, respectively. Conclusions: These pilot results demonstrate this model is sensitive to fluoride and that addition of fTCP to an aqueous rinse containing 225 ppm F may provide significant remineralization benefits. Therefore, the combination of relatively low levels of fluoride and fTCP might be an effective alternative to a high fluoride treatment for anti-erosion benefits.


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Robert L. Karlinsey, PhD

Dr. Robert L. Karlinsey earned a BS in Physics and PhD in Chemical Physics, holds several patents, and has published in multiple fields including dentistry, chemistry, and materials science. His lifelong struggles with his own dental decay ultimately inspired him to investigate the remineralization of teeth.