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Vol. 45, No. 1, 2011
Issue release date: April 2011
Caries Res 2011;45:13–20

Inhibition of Dental Erosion by Casein and Casein-Derived Proteins

White A.J. · Gracia L.H. · Barbour M.E.
aSchool of Oral and Dental Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, and bGlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare R&D, Weybridge, UK

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The application of milk-derived proteins such as casein as anti-erosion agents in oral healthcare products is of current interest. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of 3 commercially available, milk-derived proteins as agents to inhibit enamel erosion. Aqueous solutions of 0.5% w/v casein, casein phosphopeptide (CPP) or glycomacropeptide (GMP) with and without 300 ppm fluoride (F, as NaF) were investigated with regard to enamel softening and tissue loss, in comparison with a deionised water (DIW) negative control and 300 ppm F positive control. Casein and F reduced enamel surface softening compared to DIW, but CPP and GMP did not (DIW: 58.2% reduction in hardness; F: 13.3%; casein: 21.8%; CPP: 50.8%; GMP: 62.4%). Similar results were obtained with solutions containing protein and F, and the effects were statistically indistinguishable from protein alone (casein + F: 19.1%; CPP + F: 48.2%; GMP + F: 66.1%). By contrast, all protein solutions and F significantly reduced tissue loss (p < 0.050; DIW: 25.8 µm tissue loss; F: 21.6 µm; casein: 20.3 µm; CPP: 20.5 µm; GMP: 20.0 µm). Solutions containing protein and F reduced erosion more than protein alone, but this difference was only significant from protein alone for casein (casein + F: 12.2 µm; CPP + F: 17.3 µm; GMP + F: 18.2 µm). Casein and casein-derived proteins may therefore have the potential to act as agents to reduce or prevent enamel erosion. Furthermore, the erosion-reducing efficacy is not reduced by F, and is in some cases enhanced.

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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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