Journal of Conservative Dentistry

: 2013  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 342--346

Role of casein phosphopeptide amorphous calcium phosphate in remineralization of white spot lesions and inhibition of Streptococcus mutans?

Ruchi Vashisht1, Rajamani Indira2, S Ramachandran2, Anil Kumar2, Manali Ramakrishnan Srinivasan3,  
1 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, National Dental College, Dera Bassi, Punjab, India
2 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Ragas Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, India
3 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Sir Venkateswara Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, India

Correspondence Address:
Ruchi Vashisht
National Dental College, DERA Bassi, Punjab, House Number-1101, Sector-21B, Chandigarh, Union-Territory


Introduction: To promote the remineralization by ionic exchange mechanism instead of invasive techniques many remineralizing agents can be used. Objective: To evaluate the remineralization effects of casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP) on white spot lesions (WSLs) and its inhibitory effect on Streptococcus mutans colonization. Materials and Methods: The study group consisted of 60 subjects exhibiting at least 1-WSL. Subjects were randomly divided into 2 groups: A test group using CPP-ACP cream (GC-Tooth Mousse, Leuven, Belgium) and a control group using only fluoride containing toothpaste for a period of 3-month. Baseline WSLs were scored using DIAGNOdent device (KaVo Germany) and the saliva samples were collected to measure S. mutans counts. After the 3-month period the WSLs were again recorded and the saliva collection was repeated. Result: DIAGNOdent measurements were increased by time (P = 0.002) in the control group and no statistically significant difference (P = 0.217) was found in the test group by the 3-month period. In both groups, the mutans counts were decreased in the 3-month experimental period. Conclusion: These clinical and laboratory results suggested that CPP-ACP containing cream had a slight remineralization effect on the WSL in the 3-month evaluation period however, longer observation is recommended to confirm whether the greater change in WSLs is maintained.

How to cite this article:
Vashisht R, Indira R, Ramachandran S, Kumar A, Srinivasan MR. Role of casein phosphopeptide amorphous calcium phosphate in remineralization of white spot lesions and inhibition of Streptococcus mutans?.J Conserv Dent 2013;16:342-346

How to cite this URL:
Vashisht R, Indira R, Ramachandran S, Kumar A, Srinivasan MR. Role of casein phosphopeptide amorphous calcium phosphate in remineralization of white spot lesions and inhibition of Streptococcus mutans?. J Conserv Dent [serial online] 2013 [cited 2019 Jun 24 ];16:342-346
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Dental caries is one of the most common and preventable diseases of childhood. The process of caries formation is a cycle of remineralization and demineralization with various stages being either reversible or irreversible. White spot lesions (WSLs) are manifestations of the earliest stage of caries progression and are capable of being reversible. [1] These lesions are characterized by a white, chalky, opaque appearance and are commonly located in pits, fissures, and smooth surfaces of teeth. The most frequently detected localization of WSLs is on the cervical third of the tooth.

The WSLs can be spotted by many methods using a range of relatively new detection systems, including laser fluorescence, digital imaging fiber-optic trans illumination, and quantitative light-induced fluorescence. These techniques are considered as possible supplemental techniques for detecting incipient carious lesions. [2] The DIAGNOdent (KaVo, Germany) is a laser fluorescence caries detection device that operates by illuminating a tooth surface with pulses of red laser light and then analyses the emitted fluorescence. Changes in the mineral content result in changes in patterns of fluorescence. [3],[4] A numerical value is assigned to the degree of fluorescence, which is used to indicate the extent of caries.

The non-invasive treatment of early caries lesions by remineralization is a major advantage in clinical management and researchers have investigated the low cariogenic potential and possible cariostatic activity of dairy products such as milk, casein, caseinates, and cheeses. [5] Recently, casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP) derived from milk protein casein has been reported to reduce demineralization of the tooth structure and enhance remineralization. The anticariogenic potential and remineralizing effects have been shown in in vitro and in situ studies. [6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15] CPP contains the cluster sequence of Ser (P)-Ser (P)-Ser (P)-Glu-Glu from casein [10],[12] and CPP-ACP is reported to have topical anticariogenic effects due to its ability to stabilize calcium and phosphate in an amorphous state. In acidic environment, ACP will separate from CPP, thereby increasing salivary calcium and phosphate levels. [7],[16] Moreover, CPP can stabilize the level of ACP in saliva by preventing precipitation of calcium and phosphate, and stabilize the level of calcium. It can be anticipated that routine use of CPP-ACP cream would prevent WSL formation and remineralize present lesions.

Therefore, the aim of this clinical study was to evaluate the remineralizing effect of a topical remineralizing cream containing CPP-ACP on WSL and its inhibitory effect on Strepteccocus mutans colonization and the tested hypothesis was that the use of CPP-ACP would have a remineralizing effect on WSLs and inhibiting effect on S. mutans.

 Materials and Methods

Study population

Approval for the clinical trial was obtained from the Ethics Committee. Sixty healthy subjects of both sexes with no complicating medical history exhibiting orthodontic treatment and having at least one WSL were invited to participate in the study. The patients who had taken antibiotics within the last month and are allergic to milk protein were excluded. The mean age of was 18 years ± 0.68 years and the mean DMFS (Decayed missing filled score) was 1.95 ± 2.22.

Treatment procedures

The subjects were randomly divided into 2 groups: A test group of 29 patients using Tooth Mousse, (GC Europe N.V., Leuven, Belgium) (Test group) and a control group with 31 patients using routine fluoride toothpastes (Colgate, 1450 ppm F). Oral health education was provided to both groups at baseline and 3-month. The test group was instructed to apply a standardized amount (approx. 1 g) of CPP-ACP containing cream. They were advised to use the cream on the teeth twice a day after brushing his/her teeth with fluoride toothpaste for a period of 3-month. The control group were informed and encouraged to use the same fluoride toothpaste 2 times a day during 3-month. The products were distributed to the subjects at baseline and they were asked to suffer from additional preventive measures based on fluoride during the experimental period.

DIAGNOdent measurements and visual examination

The teeth were isolated with sterile cotton rolls and the surfaces of the teeth were cleaned with sterile gauze pads and the baseline WSLs were scored by using two methods: Quantitatively measured using DIAGNOdent device, which was calibrated according to the manufacturer's instructions before every use. The same examiner made all measurements for 3 times to eliminate the operator effect for each lesion and was calibrated before the study in the use of DIAGNOdent in line with the manufacturer's directions.

The second method was the visual examination with the International Caries Detection and Assessment System II (ICDASII) index and only the subjects with scores 1 or 2 were included in the study. After the 3-month experimental period the WSLs were again recorded using the DIAGNOdent device and the changes in the amount of the values and scores were recorded.

Saliva collection and microbiological analysis

The unstimulated saliva samples were collected for 5 min from each participant at baseline and salivary flow rate and pH of the saliva was measured. The salivary samples were then transferred to the microbiology laboratory for S. mutans counts and the sample collections were repeated at the end of the 3-month experimental period. The samples were vortex-mixed to disperse bacterial aggregates and 0.1 ml of the samples were inoculated onto Mitis Salivarius Agar (- Mitis salivarius agar Salivarius Agar), Difco, Detroit, Mich, U.S.A.) supplemented with 15% sucrose and bacitracin (0.2 U/ml) (Sigma Chemical Co., St. Louis, Mo., U.S.A.) for the selective isolation of S. mutans.[17] Two to three isolates representing colonial types of S. mutans were subcultured for each sample, and biochemically differentiated by colony morphology, the presence of catalase, [18] fermentation of inulin, mannitol, melibiose, raffinose, sorbitol, production of acetoin and dextran, hydrolysis of arginin and esculin. [19] Counts below 10 colony-forming units were beyond detectable limits and recorded as 0 (not detectable).

 Statistical Methods

All data were processed by SPSS software, (version 19.0, SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). The differences in the groups at baseline and 3-month interval were calculated by Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test. Mann Whitney U-test was used to determine statistically significant differences between both the groups at baseline and 3-month interval. The level of significance for all the tests was set at 5%.


The baseline salivary flow rate, salivary pH, DIAGNOdent measurements and salivary mutans values were not significantly different between the groups and were shown in [Table 1].{Table 1}

DIAGNOdent measurements

DIAGNOdent readings increased in the control group after 3-month period and were shown in [Figure 1] and this increase was found to be statistically significant (P = 0.002). There was a decrease between the baseline and 3-month results of the DIAGNOdent measurements in the test group, but this was not statistically significant (P = 0.217). Photographs of two patients who were in the test group were presented in [Figure 2] and [Figure 3].{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}

Microbiological analysis

The S. mutans levels in the saliva at the baseline and 3-month periods were shown in [Figure 4]. In the both the control and the test groups, the mutans counts in the saliva were decreased in 3-month experimental period, which was found to be statistically significant (P = 0.000 for both groups).{Figure 4}


This study evaluated the remineralization efficiency of a 3-month home application of CPP-ACP on WSL and the inhibitory effect on S. mutans in comparison with a control group. WSL, which are the earliest phase of the caries process and which are reversible1 can be treated by conventional approaches involving the disadvantage of being invasive. [20] Therefore, many remineralization agents can be used to promote remineralization by ionic exchange mechanism instead of invasive techniques. In the current study, CPP-ACP containing product is used, which has been reported to have the potential in promoting remineralization [7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12] and which maintains calcium and phosphate at a super saturated status compared to calcium and saliva and preserves them in close proximity to the enamel lesion, thereby decreasing demineralization and enhancing remineralization of enamel lesions. [6],[21]

In this study, laser fluorescence system was used to detect the WSLs in our study. The patented laser fluorescence method of DIAGNOdent works on the basis of the differing fluorescence between healthy dental substance and diseased dental substance and it detects even the smallest lesions; using a number scale and an audible alert. It has an acceptable sensitivity and specificity, which was reported before as compared with quantitative light-induced fluorescence. [22] Similarly, high sensitivity and acceptable specificity were also observed in other studies, such as those by Rocha et al. [23] and Anttonen et al. [24]

DIAGNOdent is considered to be useful and reproducible method that could be used to quantify WSLs and test the effectiveness of the preventive strategies. In the present study 3-month after the application of CPP-ACP in vivo, DIAGNOdent measurements exhibited a slight decrease in the demineralization process in comparison with the control group. The slight decrease in DIAGNOdent readings for the WSLs in TM group compared to that of the control group may be taken to indicate a reversal of the early caries process due to the usage of CPP-ACP might have taken place showing that new hydroxyapatite crystals were formed from the minerals existing in the paste by physical diffusion of the ions to the destroyed hydroxyapatite. The slight decrease in DIAGNOdent readings of TM group might also be explained by the changes in the surface properties of TM applied WSL, like the changings in the porosity of enamel because the main function of CPPs is to modulate bioavailability of calcium phosphate levels by maintaining ionic phosphate and calcium super saturation to increase remineralization however, longer observation is recommended to confirm whether the greater change in WSLs is maintained. Andersson et al. [25] reported a significant reduction in WSLs after the application of CPP-ACP at 12-month follow-up as we expected. In a systematic review, Yengopal and Mickenautsch [26] reviewed the short-term remineralization effect of CPP-ACP in clinical in situ trials and long-term caries-preventing effect for CPP-ACP in vivo in a randomized control trial. According to our results, CPPs could be suggested as an alternative preventive system against demineralization of early enamel lesions as published before. [13],[14],[27]

Our results indicated that the numbers of S. mutans decreased after the 3-month evaluation period in TM group. CPP also is believed to have an antibacterial and buffering effect on plaque and interfere in the growth and adherence of Streptococcus species.

In the current study, we cannot correlate the reduction in S. mutans values only to the inhibiting effect of CPP-ACP because there was a significant decrease in the control group, too. In an in vitro study of Erdem et al., it was reported that there was a reduction in bacterial viability of S. mutans in biofilm after the application of CPP-ACP but this reduction was not statistically significant. [28] These reductions in both groups might also be related to the changes in oral hygiene behaviors of the children, because all of the children received oral health education at the beginning of the study individually. It could be suggested that patients in both groups got more aware of their oral health-care and followed the oral hygiene instructions more and consumed less cariogenic food in comparison with before.

The subjects used the CPP-ACP containing paste just after a routine fluoride containing toothpaste because of the ethical reasons and it is reported that fluoride also has a tendency to interact with the ACP component of the casein complex and may precipitate out as calcium fluoride, leading both inorganic components ineffective. [29] But this might happen only if massive excess of fluoride exists, because there is an also fluoride containing CPP-ACP product, which contains 900 ppm of fluoride and Reynolds observed that a dentifrice containing 2% CPP-ACP plus 1100 ppm F was superior to all other formulations of mouth rinses and dentifrices containing CPP-ACP and fluoride. [13],[27] Controversially in a study of Beerens et al. [30] who evaluated the effects of CPP-ACPF (Amorphous calcium phosphate fluoride) paste on dental plaque and on the remineralization of enamel WSLs after the removal of fixed orthodontic appliances during a 3-month time period, it was reported that there were no differences between the commercially available CPP-ACPF (Amorphous calcium phosphate fluoride) paste and the fluoride free control paste on the remineralization of enamel WSLs and plaque composition.

It can be concluded that within the limitations of this study CPP-ACP containing remineralizing paste had a slight remineralization effect in the 3-month evaluation period and longer observation period with an enlarged sample size is recommended to confirm whether the greater remineralization in early caries lesions is maintained.


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