WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A new lozenge developed by scientists can whiten teeth and rebuild tooth enamel.
- The lozenge uses an engineered peptide to achieve these effects.
- The product can whiten teeth more than teeth-whitening strips and gels that are currently on the market.
A new team of researchers has developed a breath mint that whitens your teeth and rebuilds your enamel at the same time.
Scientists from the University of Washington team are preparing to test a lozenge that contains phosphorus and calcium ions, and a genetically engineered peptide, which are the building blocks of tooth enamel, the tooth’s crown. The peptide comes from amelogenin, the protein essential in the creation of tooth enamel and the cementum that makes up the surface of the tooth root.
Each lozenge coats the teeth with several micrometers of new enamel as the peptide binds to the teeth to repair the damaged enamel without harming the mouth’s soft tissue.
The new layer of enamel also binds to the living tissue underneath the tooth’s surface called the dentin. One lozenge daily can maintain a healthy enamel layer, while two can help rebuild it. The lozenge is safe for use by both adults and children.
Team leader Professor Mehmet Sarikaya, they have been discussing with potential corporate partners the commercial applications of the lozenges.
The new enamel produced by the lozenge is whiter than the enamel produced by tooth-whitening strips or gels. The lozenge also doesn’t use hydrogen peroxide that conventional whitening treatments rely on, thus avoiding side effects like hypersensitivity to cavities or gum disease.
Although fluoride can also strengthen tooth enamel, it dilutes quickly. The lozenge can also be used together with a low concentration of fluoride, recommends Dr. Dogan.
According to Professor Sarikaya, the clinical trials have three objectives: to demonstrate efficacy, for documentation, and to compare its whitening effect to existing commercial treatments. The lozenge has already been tested on extracted teeth from humans, pigs, and rats, and live rats.
Dr. Dogan said the team also plans to create similar products for use in dental offices, and toothpaste for over-the-counter use. They are also working on a gel or solution using the engineered peptide to treat hypersensitive teeth, which is caused by enamel weakness that makes the dentin and nerves more sensitive to heat or cold.
Most products on the market nowadays only provide temporary relief by putting a layer of organic material on the nerve endings of the tooth and numb nerve endings. But with peptide, the relief is permanent as it strengthens the enamel.
Source: Good News Network