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Keywords:

  • electrochemically activated solution;
  • hypochlorous acid;
  • pH;
  • sodium hypochlorite;
  • superoxidized water;
  • root canal irrigants

Abstract

Rossi-Fedele G, Guastalli AR, Doğramacı EJ, Steier L, De Figueiredo JAP. Influence of pH changes on chlorine-containing endodontic irrigating solutions. International Endodontic Journal, 44, 792–799, 2011.

Chlorine-containing solutions are used for broad disinfection purposes. Water disinfection literature suggests that their disinfectant action depends on pH values as this will influence the available free chlorine forms. Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) has been suggested to have an antimicrobial effect around 80–100 times stronger than the hypochlorite ion. The aim of this paper was to review the influence of pH changes on the efficacy of chlorine-containing endodontic irrigating solutions. An electronic and hand search (articles published through to 2010, including ‘in press’ articles; English language; search terms ‘root canal irrigants AND sodium hypochlorite or hypochlorous acid or superoxidized water or electrochemically activated solution’; ‘antimicrobial action AND sodium hypochlorite or hypochlorous acid or superoxidized water or electrochemically activated solution’; ‘tissue dissolution AND sodium hypochlorite or hypochlorous acid or superoxidized water or electrochemically activated solution’; ‘smear layer AND sodium hypochlorite or hypochlorous acid or superoxidized water or electrochemically activated solution’) was performed to identify publications that compared chlorine water solutions with different pH. Of 1304 publications identified, 20 were considered for inclusion in the review. The search resulted in the retrieval of articles studying sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), superoxidized waters (SOW) and sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC). Regarding antimicrobial efficacy, the literature suggested that reducing the pH value of NaOCl to between 6 and 7.5 would lead to improved action; SOW was described as having a lower antimicrobial effect. The tissue dissolution activity NaOCl decreased when the pH reached values between 6 and 7.5; NaDCC and SOW had no clinically relevant tissue dissolution capability. Chlorine solutions of different characteristics appeared to have some cleaning efficacy although they should to be used in conjunction with chelating and/or detergent agents.