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Pesquisa Odontológica Brasileira

Print version ISSN 1517-7491


TENUTA, Livia Maria Andaló et al. Effect of plaque accumulation and salivary factors on enamel demineralization and plaque composition in situ. Pesqui. Odontol. Bras. [online]. 2003, vol.17, n.4, pp.326-331. ISSN 1517-7491.

This study evaluated the effect of some plaque and salivary factors on caries progression in situ. The salivary secretion rate, buffering capacity and mutans streptococci counts from 13 volunteers were determined. For three distinct periods of time, 4, 7 and 10 days, each of them wore a palatal appliance containing 4 bovine enamel blocks. They used a non-fluoridated dentifrice during the experiment and a 20% sucrose solution was dripped onto the blocks 10 times a day. Mutans streptococci (MS), calcium (Ca), and insoluble polysaccharide (IP) were quantified in the dental plaque formed on the enamel blocks, after each period. Enamel demineralization was assessed by surface microhardness, and the percentage of surface microhardness change (%SMC) in relation to the baseline values was calculated. Enamel demineralization occurred after each period of plaque accumulation (p < 0.05), and the %SMC increased with time (from 13.8 to 48.3%). The concentrations of Ca and IP in plaque were not statistically different among the experimental times, but significant correlations were found between these concentrations and %SMC. Neither the salivary factors assessed initially nor mutans streptococci in plaque presented statistically significant correlations to %SMC. The results suggest that enamel demineralization is time-dependent and is more related to the composition of the biofilm formed than to the salivary factors studied.

Keywords : Dental plaque; Tooth demineralization; Dental enamel; Streptococcus mutans; Saliva.

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