Mechanisms of antimicrobial activity of calcium hydroxide: a critical review


José F. Siqueira Jr, Rua Herotides de Oliveira 61/601, Icaraí, Niterói, RJ, Brazil 24230–230.


Literature review The primary function of calcium hydroxide as a routine intracanal medicament is to provide antimicrobial activity. However, the mechanisms of antimicrobial activity of calcium hydroxide are not well known. Physicochemical

properties of this substance may limit its effectiveness in disinfecting the entire root canal system. In addition, calcium hydroxide is not effective against all bacterial species found in root canal infections. Association with other medicaments may enhance the efficacy of the intracanal medication in eliminating residual bacteria in the root canal system.