Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Dent Res. 1997 Dec;76(12):1845-53.

Arrest of root surface caries in situ.

Author information

  • 1Department of Dental Pathology, Operative Dentistry and Endodontics, Royal Dental College, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Aarhus, Denmark.


This study tests the hypothesis that daily oral hygiene combined with topical fluoride arrests active root-surface caries lesions without changing the mineral content of the lesions. Therefore, changes in mineral content and distribution were studied in root surfaces during caries lesion development and subsequent arrest of lesion progression in situ. In 18 subjects, lesions were developed during 3 months in sound root-surface specimens inserted into lower partial dentures. After 3 months, ground sections were prepared from each lesion prior to re-insertion of the specimens into the dentures. In addition, one sound root specimen was added per subject. During the following 3 months, half of the subjects cleaned both sound and carious specimens once a day with an 1100-ppm fluoride toothpaste, and the specimens were treated twice with 2% NaF for 2 min in situ. The other half of the subjects continued the experiment without cleaning. During the initial three-month period, all specimens developed subsurface lesions extending 187 to 583 microm into the dentin. Lesion depth increased somewhat in both experimental groups during the following 3 months (P > or = 0.1). There was a non-significant increase in mineral loss in the plaque-covered specimens (P = 0.08). However, the total mineral content of specimens subjected to plaque removal and topical fluoride did not change. This treatment resulted in an increased mineral content in the surface layer (P < 0.01) and formation of a zone of higher mineral content within the body of the lesion. The sound root surfaces which had been cleaned for a three-month period showed mineral uptake in the surface layer, occasionally associated with subsurface demineralization extending 20 to 70 microm into the tissue. The mineral loss of these specimens was significantly smaller than that of plaque-covered surfaces (P < 0.001). It is concluded that daily plaque removal and topical fluoride use influence the distribution of mineral in sound and carious root surfaces and may arrest lesion progression without affecting the total mineral content.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk