Objectives: The effect of a fluoride mouth rinse with hard cheese exposure was investigated on rehardening of an etched tooth enamel surface in subjects with radiation-induced hyposalivation in situ. Methods: Ten patients, six males and four females of mean age 48 years, irradiated with 30 Gy per week for neck and head cancer, volunteered for the present intraoral study. The unstimulated saliva flow rate varied between 0.01 and 0.15 ml min-1. Enamel slabs, approximately 2 mm × 2 mm in size, cut from human molar teeth were embedded in self-curing acrylic resin to fit a microhardness tester. Hardness measurements were carried out on the polished and subsequently etched enamel surface, rinsed for 1 min in the mouth with 10 ml Meridol (GABA INT.), containing 0.025% F as amine fluoride and stannous fluoride, and exposed alternatively to mastication of 20 g cheddar cheese for 5 min. Results: Surface erosion of the enamel slabs decreased the mean hardness to a similar degree in all samples. The difference between the mean increased degrees of enamel microhardness following fluoride, fluoride and hard cheese, or repeated fluoride-cheese exposures was significant compared to the etched enamel values. The rate of rehardening derived from a second fluoride-cheese treatment was found to be improved significantly. It seems that the reduced saliva flow in xerostomic patients is sufficient to release bound calcium and phosphate from cheese products. Conclusions: It is suggested that for xerostomic patients frequent exposures to low-fluoride solutions combined with hard cheese consumption may prevent and remineralize initial demineralization.
- Hard cheese