The aims were to investigate the effect of monoalkyl phosphates (MAPs) and fluoride on dissolution rate of native and saliva-coated hydroxyapatite (HA). Fluoride at 300 mg/l (as NaF) inhibited dissolution of native HA by 12%, while potassium and sodium dodecyl phosphates (PDP, SDP), at 0.1% or higher, inhibited dissolution by 26-34%. MAPs, but not fluoride, also showed persistence of action. MAPs at 0.5% and fluoride at 300 mg/l were then tested separately against HA pre-treated with human saliva for 2 or 18 h. Agents were applied with brushing to half the specimens, and without brushing to the other half. In control (water-treated) specimens, pre-treatment of HA with human saliva reduced dissolution rate on average by 41% (2 h) and 63% (18 h). Brushing did not have a statistically significant effect on dissolution rate of saliva-coated specimens. In brushed specimens, fluoride significantly increased the inhibition due to 2- or 18-hour saliva pre-treatment. It is hypothesised that brushing partially removes the salivary film and allows KOH-soluble calcium fluoride formation at the surfaces of HA particles. Inhibition was reduced by PDP in 2-hour/non-brushed specimens and in 18-hour/brushed specimens. PDP did not affect dissolution rates in the remaining groups and SDP did not affect dissolution rate in any group. Possible reasons for these variable results are discussed. The experiments show that pre-treatment with saliva can significantly modify results of tests on potential anti-erosive agents and it is recommended that saliva pre-treatment should be a routine part of testing such agents.
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