The present in situ study investigated the fluoride response of caries lesions with similar mineral loss but two distinct mineral distributions (low- and high-'R', calculated as the ratio of mineral loss to lesion depth). Sixteen subjects wore eight gauze-covered enamel specimens with preformed lesions placed buccally on their mandibular partial dentures for periods up to 4 weeks. The participants brushed twice daily for 1 min with an 1,100 ppm F (as NaF) dentifrice. After 3 and 4 weeks, specimens were retrieved and analyzed microradiographically (TMR) and by quantitative light fluorescence (QLF). TMR results revealed that low- and high-R lesions showed opposite behaviors - low-R lesions further demineralized, whereas high-R lesions exhibited some remineralization. In comparison, lesion depth increased in low-R, but remained unchanged in high-R lesions; R decreased in both, but more in high-R lesions; mineral density at the lesion surface remained unchanged in low-R, but increased in high-R lesions. Differences in mineral loss between lesion types increased further between 3 and 4 weeks. QLF did not mirror TMR results as low-R lesions were found to remineralize, whereas high-R lesions remained unchanged. It is likely that low-R lesions differ from high-R lesions chemically and microstructurally; therefore rendering low-R lesion more susceptible to further dissolution. During lesion formation, low-R in contrast to high-R lesions may not lose all of the solubility-determining impurities such as magnesium and carbonate, which can reprecipitate again in different mineral phases within the lesion. In conclusion, mineral distribution at baseline directly impacts in situ lesion response to fluoride.
- In situ study
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