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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

In vitro-activity of oily calcium hydroxide suspension on microorganisms as well as on human alveolar osteoblasts and periodontal ligament fibroblasts

Sigrun Eick, Tatjana Strugar, Richard J Miron and Anton Sculean*

Author Affiliations

Department of Periodontology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Bern, CH-3010, Bern, Switzerland

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BMC Oral Health 2014, 14:9  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-14-9

Published: 29 January 2014



Findings from animal and human studies have indicated that an oily calcium hydroxide suspension (OCHS) may improve early wound healing in the treatment of periodontitis. Calcium hydroxide as the main component is well known for its antimicrobial activity, however at present the effect of OCHS on the influence of periodontal wound healing/regeneration is still very limited. The purpose of this in vitro study was to investigate the effect of OCHS on periodontopathogenic bacteria as well as on the attachment and proliferation of osteoblasts and periodontal ligament fibroblasts.


Human alveolar osteoblasts (HAO) and periodontal ligament (PDL) fibroblasts were cultured on 3 concentrations of OCHS (2.5, 5 and 7.5 mg). Adhesion and proliferation were counted up to 48 h and mineralization was assayed after 1 and 2 weeks. Furthermore potential growth inhibitory activity on microorganisms associated with periodontal disease (e.g. Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans) as well as the influence of periodontopathogens and OCHS on the HAO and PDL fibroblasts counts were determined.


More than a 2-fold increase in adherent HAO cells was observed at 4 h following application of OCHS when compared to the control group (p = 0.007 for 2.5 mg). Proliferation of HAO cells at 48 h was stimulated by moderate concentrations (2.5 mg; 5 mg) of OCHS (each p < 0.001), whereas a high concentration (7.5 mg) of OCHS was inhibitory (p = 0.009). Mineralization was observed only for HAO cells treated with OCHS. OCHS did not exert any positive effect on attachment or proliferation of PDL fibroblasts. Although OCHS did not have an antibacterial effect, it did positively influence attachment and proliferation of HAO cells and PDL fibroblasts in the presence of periodontopathogens.


The present data suggests that OCHS promotes osteoblast attachment, proliferation and mineralization in a concentration-dependent manner and results are maintained in the presence of periodontal pathogens.

Oily calcium hydroxide suspension; Human alveolar osteoblasts; Periodontal ligament fibroblasts; Periodontopathogens