Promising Combination for Enamel Remineralization

Fluoride has demonstrated clinical success in preventing tooth decay for more than 50 years. However, tooth decay still remains a problem. The action of fluoride facilitates saliva-driven remineralization of demineralized enamel and beneficially alters solubility. According to a study by Drs. R. L. Karlinsey and A. M. Pfarrer, published in Advances in Dental Research, laboratory and clinical studies have demonstrated that the combination of fluoride and functionalized β-tricalcium phosphate (fTCP) produces a stronger, more acid-resistant mineral relative to fluoride, native β-TCP, or fTCP alone. In contrast to other calcium-based approaches that seem to rely on high levels of calcium and phosphate to drive remineralization, fTCP is a low-dose system designed to fit within existing topical fluoride preparations. The functionalization of β-TCP with organic and/or inorganic molecules provides a barrier that prevents premature fluoride-calcium interactions and aids in mineralization when applied via common preparations and procedures. According to the authors, although additional clinical studies are warranted, supplementing with fTCP to enhance fluoride-based nucleation activity, with subsequent remineralization driven by dietary and salivary calcium and phosphate, appears to be a promising approach.
(Source: Advances in Dental Research, September 2012, Volume 24, Number 2, pages 48 to 52)