For people with tooth sensitivity, drinking something either too hot or too cold causes sharp and often intolerable pain. Tooth sensitivity and toothache reportedly affect well over 25 percent of people in the United States.
currently available treatments for tooth sensitivity lacking in several ways, such as being ineffective and predisposing patients to bacteria and cavities. Now, Chinese researchers developed a new material to better protect sensitive teeth, using green tea polyphenols.
The compound epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most active polyphenol in green tea. The compound not only prevented tooth erosion by abrasive brushing but also prevented bio-film or plaque formation.
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the protective layers of teeth are worn away and a bony tissue called dentin is exposed. Dentin contains small tubes. When the ends of its microtubes open, they allow hot and cold liquids and food to go straight to the tooth’s nerve, thus causing a pain. Dentin also becomes vulnerable to cavity formation.
For the study, the researchers took nanohydroxyapatite and EGCG, which shown to fight streptococcus mutans, forming biofilms that cause cavities.
The ingredients then combined with the mineral silica nanoparticles (MSNs) to shield the tooth from the acidic deposits on the enamel and consequent wear and tear. MSNs widely used as drug carriers.
Using a technique called confocal laser scanning microscopy, the researchers block the formation of the biofilm that S. mutans normally forms on the dentin surface.
The tests revealed that the biomaterial blocked the dentin’s microtubules and reduced dentin permeability. The researchers also noted the catechins (EGCG) stop adhesion of sugar containing materials on the tooth enamel, which causes plaque formation. The bacteria in mouth feeds on the plaque, producing acidic residue that accelerates erosion of the tooth surface.
More information: [ACS publications]