Hyposalivation is often associated with high caries activity, in particular in patients undergoing irradiation in the head/neck area. Besides the use of saliva substitutes to relieve the oral symptoms, daily application of fluoride gels or toothpaste (5,000 µg F/g) is recommended for caries prevention. The aim of this study was to evaluate potentially remineralising effects of these fluoride agents in combination with saliva substitutes on enamel subsurface lesions. Demineralised bovine specimens were either stored in mineral water [control; saturation with respect to octacalcium phosphate (SOCP): 0.8], a demineralising saliva substitute (Glandosane; SOCP: 0.3) or in a modified (with respect to SOCP) saliva substitute [Saliva natura (SN); SOCP: 1.9] for 5 weeks (37°C). The following treatments were applied twice daily (11–13/group): no treatment (0), ProSchmelz fluoride gel (PS; 10 min application), Duraphat toothpaste (DP; 10 s; brushing with toothpaste/storage solution slurry), combination of DP+PS. Mineral parameters before/after storage were evaluated from microradiographs. Storage in Glandosane led to significant demineralisation (p < 0.05; paired t test), whereas additional use of fluoride agents neutralised the demineralising effect (p > 0.05). Storage in water alone resulted in no changes in mineral parameters (p > 0.05), whereas in combination with fluorides remineralisation could be shown (p < 0.05). For SN alone, remineralisation was observed (p < 0.05), but no additional beneficial effects of fluorides were detected. Under the conditions chosen, the fluoride agents reduce the demineralising effects of Glandosane and promote the remineralisation of specimens stored in water. Remineralising effects of SN could not be enhanced by the fluorides.

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