Journal of the Korean Academy of Pediatric Dentistry 1998;25(2):335-351.
Published online May 31, 1998.
Salivary proteins which are produced in the saliary acinar cells have been known to be involved in the Calcium and phosphate metabolism. The acquired pellicle resulting from such metabolism is considered as a secondary defence membrane against tooth caries. In this respect, some proteins included in saliva probably play an important role in the prevention of demineralization in enamel. On the other hand, fluoride has long been known to prevent the demineralization of enamel by the inhibition of the growth of Streptococcus mutans(S. mutans) and by the chemical reaction with calcium and phosphate, Therefore, I have examined the roles of amylase and albumin in the demineralization of enamel and compared these preteins with fluoride in terms of anticariogenic effect. 1. The demineralization caused by S. mutans occurred slowly and progressively for the first 60 min, then the rate of demineralization was accelerated afterwards. 2. pH decreased continuously during the entire period of each experiment. 3. The demineralization was significantly inhibited by the preteatment of amylase and fluoride but albumin had little effect on it. 4. An addition of 0.1 mM lactic acid (final concentration 0.1 μM) caused a rapid increase in calcium concentration reaching a maximum within 10 min. 5. pH decreased rapidly by the addition of 0.1 mM lactic acid and reached a minimum within a few seconds followed by an increase in pH. pH reaced a plateu with 10 min. 6. Fluoride, amylase and albumin played little role in the 0.1 mM lactic acid-induced demineralization. 7. A slow infusion of 0.1 M lactic acid at a rate of 5 μl/min caused a slower increase in calcium concentration compared with the bolus addition of lactic acid. 8. Fluoride had an inhibitory effect on the calcium release caused by slow infusion of lactic acid while amylase and albumin had no effect on it. These results suggest that fluoride inhibits demineralization by protecting the HA from the acid attack whereas amylase has a direct effect on S. mutans to prevent demineralization.
Key Words: amylase, calcium, fluoride, hydroxyapatite, pH, salivary protein, Streptococcus mutans

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