Although it is now well accepted that the primary anticaries activity of fluoride (F) is via topical action, the importance of F retention in the mouth has not been elucidated. The intent of this proposal is to study the relationship between F retention in the oral cavity and the clinical efficacy of home-use topical F products. In the first phase of the project F concentrations in whole saliva, ductal saliva, plaque, enamel, soft tissue and interproximal spaces will be determined at different intervals after the application of topical F products (F-dentifrice, F- mouthrinse, F-gel). Four subject panels will be compared: a standardized panel of dentally healthy adults; an edentulous panel; a periodontally involved panel; and an hyposalivatory panel. In the second phase of the project the standardized subject panel will wear an intraoral appliance carrying partially demineralized blocks of human enamel. Enamel remineralization and F-uptake will be evaluated after 1, 7 and 14 days of treatment with different F regimens. Experiments will be conducted to separate the effects of initial F exposure during topical F application from the effects of F-retention in the mouth after the initial application. Additional experiments will evaluate the effects of daytime vs. nighttime F treatment. The objectives of the study are: a) to compare F concentrations in whole saliva with ductal saliva, plaque, enamel, oral soft tissue and interproximal spaces after the use of different home-use F regimens; b) to compare a standardized subject panel with an edentulous panel, a periodontally involved panel, and an hyposalivatory panel, in regard to F-retention. (c) to evaluate the relationship between F-retention, and enamel remineralization and F-uptake over periods of 1, 7 and 14 days; (d) to compare remineralizing effect of the initial contact of topical F with teeth with the effect of F retained in the oral environment after F treatment. The proposed research is expected to provide a deeper understanding of fluoride retention, its role in the caries process, and how this can be exploited to improve caries preventive methods.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Research Project (R01)
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Oral Biology and Medicine Subcommittee 1 (OBM)
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Eastman Dental Center
United States
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Zero, D T (1995) In situ caries models. Adv Dent Res 9:214-30;discussion 231-4
Harding, A M; Zero, D T; Featherstone, J D et al. (1994) Calcium fluoride formation on sound enamel using fluoride solutions with and without lactate. Caries Res 28:1-8
Zero, D T; Raubertas, R F; Pedersen, A M et al. (1992) Studies of fluoride retention by oral soft tissues after the application of home-use topical fluorides. J Dent Res 71:1546-52
Zero, D T; Raubertas, R F; Fu, J et al. (1992) Fluoride concentrations in plaque, whole saliva, and ductal saliva after application of home-use topical fluorides [published eerratum appears in J Dent Res 1993 Jan;72(1):87] J Dent Res 71:1768-75
Featherstone, J D; Zero, D T (1992) An in situ model for simultaneous assessment of inhibition of demineralization and enhancement of remineralization. J Dent Res 71 Spec No:804-10