The use of a calcium phosphate precipitation method occluded dentin tubules with apatitic mineral and, thus, showed good potential for the treatment of dentin hypersensitivity. The aim of this study was to elucidate the occluding behavior of the precipitate in the oral environment. Dentin disks treated by the calcium phosphate precipitation method, and disks treated with potassium oxalate, NaF, and SrCl2 solutions, were immersed in synthetic saliva, which was regularly replenished so that ionic concentration would be maintained. Treatment of dentin disks by the calcium phosphate precipitation method immediately reduced dentin permeability to 6 ± 8%. When the disk was immersed in synthetic saliva, dentin permeability remained low, even seven days after immersion. Scanning electron microscopic observation showed no distinct boundary line between the precipitate and intertubular dentin; this indicated further mineralization on the precipitate. Potassium oxalate treatment also reduced the dentin permeability to 8 ± 3%. However, the dentin permeability gradually but steadily increased with immersion time, reaching 39 ± 14% at seven days. To elucidate the mechanism underlying dentin permeability changes in synthetic saliva, we immersed the precipitates, i.e., apatitic mineral and calcium oxalate, in a fixed volume of synthetic saliva. When calcium oxalate was immersed in synthetic saliva, there was a large concentration of oxalate ions, indicating dissolution of the calcium oxalate; this phenomenon was ascribed to the increase in dentin permeability. In contrast, calcium and phosphate ions decreased when apatitic powder, the precipitate formed by the calcium phosphate precipitation method, was immersed in synthetic saliva. The decrease in the calcium and phosphate ions in synthetic saliva indicated further precipitation of calcium phosphate on the apatitic precipitate. We concluded, therefore, that the calcium phosphate precipitation method would have a continuous effect in reducing dentin permeability in the oral environment.
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