A new way of treating tooth hypersensitivity has been found.
Researchers in the US have identified the new approach that also halts bacteria from causing further harm.
The New York University dental study discovered that a coating made from fluoride and zinc ions in a calcium-phosphate matrix proved effective in reversing damage to the tubules caused by Streptococcus mutans.
The coating caused the exposed tubules to close again and prevented Streptococcus mutans from causing further damage.
The findings were presented in July annual meeting of the International Association for Dental Research in Barcelona, Spain.
The team compared two groups of dentin samples immersed for 24 hours in a solution containing Streptococcus mutans.
One group was treated with the calcium-phosphate/fluoride/zinc formulation for eight minutes, while the second group received no treatment.
Bacteria multiplied on the untreated samples, but their growth and development was inhibited on the treated dentin.
In addition, the treated group had significantly fewer open tubules than the untreated one.
Lead author, Dr LeGeros, who plans additional testing to confirm the findings, says: ‘Because the calcium, phosphate, and fluoride ions formed a solution that occluded the open dentin tubules, and the zinc ions inhibited bacterial growth and colonisation, our findings suggest that this formulation may represent a tooth hypersensitivity treatment that is less susceptible to the effects of acid than treatments made with potassium oxalate.’
Co-investigators on the study included Dr Robert Boylan, associate professor of Basic Science & Craniofacial Biology, and Dr John P LeGeros, adjunct professor of piomaterials & biomimetics, both of the NYU College of Dentistry; Dr Junqi Li, Dean of the Guanghua School of Stomatology; and Dr Danni Fan, assistant professor of prosthodontics at the Guanghua School of Stomatology.