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J Dent Res. 1989 Nov;68(11):1479-82.

Estimation of the velocity of the salivary film at some different locations in the mouth.

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Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.


Previously, we studied the clearance rates of KCl from agarose gels positioned at different locations in the mouth, and showed that the rates were much slower than when clearance was into a well-stirred solution. We designed the present in vitro study to test the effect on KCl clearance of the velocity of a 0.1-mm-thick film of water flowing over an agarose gel of the same diameter and composition as those used in vivo. The thickness of the salivary film overlying dental plaque has been estimated to be about 0.1 mm, and we assumed that when clearance rates in vitro matched those found in vivo, velocities of the fluid film (in vitro) and the salivary film (in vivo) must be equal. On this basis, it was calculated in the present experiments that when salivary flow was unstimulated, the velocity of the salivary film at the level of the teeth varied between about 0.8 mm/min (upper-anterior buccal region) and 8.0 mm/min (lower-anterior lingual region). When salivary flow was stimulated, this was estimated to increase the velocity of the salivary film from 2 to 40 times, depending on the location in the mouth. It is postulated that the slow movement of the salivary film when flow is unstimulated allows for accumulation of diffusants from dental plaque, which reduces the concentration gradient for diffusion from plaque and prolongs the clearance time of such metabolic products as acid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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