Chemical aspects of human plaque and enamel
The ideal conditions for the use of hydrazinium sulphate as a reducing agent to determine phosphorus in dental plaque were investigated. When this method was compared to the tin (II) chloride (Kuttner and Cohen, 1927) and ascorbic acid method (Chen, loribara and Warner, 1956),which is generally in use for the measurement of phosphorus in plaque, it was found to have certain advantages. Different ashing techniques were compared, as well as the influence of different acids on wet ashing. The hydrazinium sulphate method could determine as little as 1,8 ~g phosphorus per 50 ml and is recommended for the routine analysis of phosphorus in dental plaque samples with wet ashing. Today phosphorus can be determined, among other methods gravimetrically, titrimetically and spectroscopically (Williams, 1979). Through spectroscopic methods phosphate might be analysed spectrophotometrically by 3 main methods, as molybdophosphoric acid, its reducing product molybdenum blue and the yellow vanadomolybdophosphoric complex (Stuart and Duff, 1980). In addition indirect methods derived from molybdophosphoric acid might also be used (Williams, 1979). When phosphorus is spectrophotometrically determined during the reduction of a phosphomolybdate complex by means of different reducing agents (Kuttner and Cohen, 1927; Chen et aI, 1956; Fiske and Subbarow, 1925 and 1929, Taylor and Miller, 1914; Martin and Doty, 1949; Eibl and Lands, 1969; Vogel, 1961; Boltz and Mellong, 1947; Lazarus and Chou, 1972; Laws and Webley, 1959; Burton and Riley, 1955; Dickman and Bray, 1940), it is necessary to establish the optimum conditions under which the reducing agent, hydrazinium sulphate, can be used. In spite of this, many details about exact experimental procedures are not known (Taylor and Miller, 1914; Vogel, 1961; Boltz and Mellon, 1947). The present investigation is an attempt to establish the ideal conditions for the use of hydrazinium sulphate as a reducing agent during the formation of molybdenum blue (Schirmer et al, 1942) and the effectiveness of the method for the determination of phosphorus in dental plaque by different ashing techniques. The hydrazine method is also compared to that of Chen et al (1956) which is generally in use for plaque phosphate determinations by many authors (Ashley, 1975; Ashley and Wilson, 1976; Kleinberg et al, 1971; Zuniga et al, 1973), as well as to the sometimes used (Dawes and Jenkins, 1962) tin (II) chloride method of Kuttner and Cohen (1927). For the review of many other accepted methods, see Lindberg and Ernster (1956), and Williams (1979). The results are compared to the modified ascorbic acid method (Chen et al, 1956) as well as to the tin (II) chloride method (Kuttner and Cohen, 1927).