Aim: To evaluate the potential of milk, coconut water and buttermilk in maintaining periodontal ligament cell (PDL) viability.
Methods: Freshly extracted premolars (55) were divided into three experimental groups each having 15 teeth and the negative and positive control groups which had 5 teeth per group. The teeth in the experimental groups were immersed in their respective storage medium for a period of 75 min before the laboratory procedures were performed. Collagenase-dispase assays were conducted and the PDL cells were stained with 0.4% Trypan blue stain, which enabled cell counting to be performed under light microscopy at 45× magnification.
Results: These are presented as mean number of viable PDL cells/ml and % viable cells compared to the positive control (Group E). The statistically significant (p < 0.001) results showed that the milk group (Group A) had the maximum average number of viable PDL cells with 23,213.3 cells/ml (44.2%), followed by coconut water (Group B) which had 13,920 cells/ml (26.5%) and finally buttermilk (Group C) which had 10,566.6 cells/ml (20.1%) was the least effective. The results in this study were statistically significant (p < 0.001) when the Mann-Whitney test was used to compare distributions relative to their central tendency.
Conclusion: Milk was found to be an excellent transport media for an avulsed tooth followed by coconut water and buttermilk.
Keywords: Buttermilk; Coconut water; Milk; Periodontal ligament; Tooth avulsion.