The role of fluoride and chlorhexidine in preserving hardness and mineralization of enamel and cementum after gamma irradiation

Rowida Abdalla, Maha A. Niazy, Wael E. Jamil, Hala A. Hazzaa, Amal A. Elbatouti

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Scopus citations


    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of 0.05% sodium fluoride and 0.12% chlorhexidine mouthwashes on the micro-hardness of tooth enamel and cementum that was exposed to therapeutic doses of gamma radiation. Sixty extracted human teeth were divided into two groups, one was irradiated, the other was not irradiated. The two groups were further subdivided into three subgroups, which were each treated either with 0.05% sodium fluoride or with 0.12% chlorhexidine; the third subgroup served as a control. After demineralization–remineralization cycling, teeth from the irradiated groups showed a significantly lower micro-hardness when compared to those from the non-irradiated groups. Both in the irradiated and non-irradiated groups, teeth from the control subgroups showed a significantly lower micro-hardness, as compared to teeth treated with sodium fluoride and chlorhexidine. For non-irradiated enamel samples, those treated with chlorhexidine showed a significantly less micro-hardness compared to those treated with sodium fluoride. In contrast, irradiated enamel showed no significant difference in micro-hardness, whatever treatment (chlorhexidine or sodium fluoride) was applied. For cementum, treatment with chlorhexidine resulted in a significantly lower micro-hardness compared to sodium fluoride, both for the irradiated and non-irradiated groups. It is concluded that gamma irradiation with therapeutic doses typically used for head and neck carcinoma treatment has a direct effect in reducing micro-hardness of tooth enamel and cementum. Mouthwash protocols including, for example, application of 0.05% sodium fluoride or 0.12% chlorhexidine three times per day for 6 weeks, can protect enamel and cementum against the reduction in hardness and demineralization caused by gamma irradiation. Sodium fluoride offers more protection compared to chlorhexidine.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)187-192
    Number of pages6
    JournalRadiation and Environmental Biophysics
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - May 1 2017

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2017, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


    • Cementum
    • Enamel
    • Gamma irradiation
    • Radiotherapy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Radiation
    • Biophysics
    • General Environmental Science


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