Dental caries remains a world-wide disease despite the global distribution of fluoride. It has become apparent that the introduction of significant levels of sugar (fermentable carbohydrate) into the diet has resulted in a change in the biofilm, encouraging acid formation. Further, there has been a shift in the microbiota in the biofilm to a flora that produces acid, and thrives and reproduces in an acidic environment. The management of caries activity under these conditions has focused on brushing to remove the biofilm with fluoride pastes, and high-dose fluoride treatments. Kleinberg, in the 1970s, identified an arginine-containing compound in saliva that several oral biofilm bacterial species metabolize to produce base. Multiple in situ and in vivo studies have been conducted, and have discussed the ability of multiple bacteria to increase the resting pH of the biofilm and even reduce the decrease in pH when the biofilm is challenged with glucose. This shift in resting pH can shift the level of caries formation by the biofilm. Here, we present 8 clinical studies, with different clinical designs, measuring different clinical outcomes, for a diverse, world-wide population. Each of these studies demonstrates reductions in caries formation beyond that seen with fluoride alone and several demonstrate the reversal of early caries lesions. Significant clinical research has been shown that 1.5% arginine combined with fluoride toothpaste has superior anti-caries efficacy to toothpaste containing fluoride alone.
- clinical studies/trials
- plaque/plaque biofilms
- root caries/resorption
- salivary antimicrobial proteins
ASJC Scopus subject areas