What is primary root caries (definition)

Primary root caries refers to a cavity which begins on the tooth root below the cemento-enamel junction (see Glossary: the tooth). Initially, there is no involvement of the adjacent enamel or any dental work (restorations). It is actually recognised that this kind of cavity can be arrested and remineralised. In contrast, secondary root caries refers to cavities on the tooth root adjacent to an existing restoration.

Daily intake of milk plus fluoride and probiotics reverses primary root caries  in older adults

Swedish researchers recruited 160 healthy subjects (aged 58-84 years) with two or more "soft and leathery" primary root caries lesions. Divided into four study groups, each group drank 200 ml of milk once daily for 15 months. Group 1 (placebo) consumed standard milk, group 2 drank milk supplemented with 5 ppm fluoride and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (probiotic bacteria), group 3 ingested milk with probiotics only and group 4 had milk only supplemented with fluoride.

While 61 participants did not complete the study, group 2, 3, and 4 all showed  significantly higher numbers of root caries  reversal than group 1. The strongest effect occurred in group 2 and 4, i.e. the groups that also received fluoride. Interestingly, Streptococcus mutans counts (the microorganism held responsible for creating cavities) did not change significantly.[1]


1 Reversal of primary root caries lesions after daily intake of milk supplemented with fluoride and probiotic lactobacilli in older adults

If you value this content and wish to support my work (all donations are gratefully received), please donate:

For saving me the Paypal fees and/or for a way to donate in many different currencies, please click here.

Dental self-healing