Aim: The prevalence of dental erosion is still increasing. A possible preventive approach might be rinsing with edible oils to improve the protective properties of the pellicle layer. This was tested in the present in situ study using safflower oil.
Methods: Pellicle formation was carried out in situ on bovine enamel slabs fixed buccally to individual upper jaw splints (6 subjects). After 1 min of pellicle formation subjects rinsed with safflower oil for 10 min, subsequently the samples were exposed in the oral cavity for another 19 min. Enamel slabs without oral exposure and slabs exposed to the oral cavity for 30 min without any rinse served as controls. After pellicle formation in situ, slabs were incubated in HCl (pH 2; 2.3; 3) for 120 s, and kinetics of calcium and phosphate release were measured photometrically (arsenazo III, malachite green). Furthermore, the ultrastructure of the pellicles was evaluated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM).
Results: Pellicle alone reduced erosive calcium and phosphate release significantly at all pH values. Pellicle modification by safflower oil resulted in an enhanced calcium loss at all pH values and caused an enhanced phosphate loss at pH 2.3. TEM indicated scattered accumulation of lipid micelles and irregular vesicle-like structures attached to the oil-treated pellicle layer. Acid etching affected the ultrastructure of the pellicle irrespective of oil rinsing.
Conclusion: The protective properties of the pellicle layer against extensive erosive attacks are limited and mainly determined by pH. The protective effects are modified and reduced by rinses with safflower oil.
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