A new toothpaste ingredient that claims to be able to remineralise tooth enamel and help treat sensitivity has been launched.
Individuals with exposed dentine are particularly prone to dentine hypersensitivity due to the open dentine tubules.
Developed at the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), the new ingredient, called Biominf, slowly releases fluoride over eight-12 hours, which may help protect tooth enamel and prevent caries, acid erosion and dentine hypersensitivity.
‘This is an ingredient that can be placed in a toothpaste, we’ve tested it in the laboratory and we’re looking in the future to undertake clinical evaluation,’ said Dr David Gillam, clinical consultant and non-executive director of QMUL’s spin-out company Biomin Technologies.
‘As a clinician, going from a concept to something tangible is something really wonderful.
‘I’m not usually somebody that gets excited about something, but this is something that I think is really exciting.’
Dental decay remineralisation and sensitivity
Dentine hypersensitivity can affect up to 33% of the population and is a short sharp pain resulting from eating or drinking cold food and drink.
Biominf uses calcium, phosphate and fluoride and these combine to create fluorapatite, the particles used are mainly 1-5 microns in size, allowing them to fit into dental tubules to help with dentine hypersensitivity – immediately after use – and the fluorapatite helps to rebuild, strengthen and protect the tooth structure
‘Using toothpastes that support the natural remineralisation process allows teeth to be far more resistant to attack from acidic soft drinks like fruit juices and sodas,’ said Professor Robert Hill, chair of dental physical sciences at Queen Mary, University of London, who led the team that developed Biominf.
‘It is also much more effective than conventional toothpastes where the active ingredients, such as soluble fluoride, are washed away and become ineffective less than two hours after brushing.
‘This breakthrough innovation could significantly reduce dental decay and also tooth sensitivity problems, which are often experienced by people eating or drinking something cold.
‘The technology behind Biomin is not, however, exclusively designed for toothpastes.
‘It can also be incorporated in other professionally applied dental products such as cleaning and polishing pastes, varnishes and remineralising filling materials.’
Biominf has also been designed to respond to the foods a user might consume.
The fine glass particles that make up Biominf are designed to adhere to tooth surfaces.
The dissolution of ions from this glass are pH responsive, meaning when the pH in the mouth decreases under acid challenge, the fluoride will dissolve quicker helping to protect teeth when acidic foods and beverages are consumed.
‘We are very excited by the prospects of developing the patented technology, which has been licensed from Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College,’ said CEO, Richard Whatley.
‘We are in the process of establishing licensing agreements with toothpaste and dental materials manufacturers around the world.
‘Our aim is for the Biomin brand to become synonymous for the treatment of tooth sensitivity in the eyes of both the dental profession and the general public.’
For those who do not wish to use a fluoride toothpaste, a fluoride-free version is currently being developed and should be available by the end of the year.
This version will form hydroxyapatite surface, rather than the more acid stable fluorapatite structure.
Biominf-containing toothpaste will be available to dental practices via specialist dental distributors (call Trycare on 01274 881044 or Serve-ice on 01483 751789) or contact Biomin Technologies directly via the website www.biomin.co.uk, where more information about the technology is available.
It is hoped that high street retail distribution will be established in the coming months.