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Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2004 Sep;25(9 Suppl 1):9-13.

Amorphous calcium phosphates for tooth mineralization.

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American Dental Association Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA.


The destruction of tooth structure through caries and erosive processes is due to two types of acidic challenges that affect the tooth in different ways. Acidic attack by cariogenic bacteria initially produces subsurface lesions that weaken the enamel and, if left unchecked, can progress through the enamel and dentin and eventually into the pulpal cavity. Erosive attack by acidic foods and beverages removes mineral from the surface of enamel and initially causes dulling and loss of tooth luster; if left unchecked, it can progress to a more severe loss of enamel thickness and contour. This article focuses on the potential means of improving the cosmetic appearance of teeth by depositing mineral into surface defects. Several approaches use the unique properties of amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) compounds, which have the highest rates of formation and dissolution among all the calcium phosphates. ACP has been shown to rapidly hydrolyze to form apatite, similar to carbonated apatite, the tooth mineral. Products containing ACP or ingredients that form ACP can include toothpastes, mouth rinses, artificial saliva, chewing gums, topically applied coatings, and other vehicles for topical use. When applied, they readily precipitate ACPs on and into tooth-surface defects. These products hopefully will provide users with new tools to restore and enhance the smoothness and luster of their teeth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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