A potential long-lasting treatment for sensitive teeth

January 7, 2015
A potential long-lasting treatment for sensitive teeth

Rather than soothe and comfort, a hot cup of tea or cocoa can cause people with sensitive teeth a jolt of pain. But scientists are now developing a new biomaterial that can potentially rebuild worn enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity for an extended period. They describe the material, which they tested on dogs, in the journal ACS Nano.

Chun-Pin Lin and colleagues note that tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints among dental patients. Not only does it cause sharp pains, but it can also lead to more serious dental problems. The condition occurs when a tooth's enamel degrades, exposing tiny, porous and allowing underlying nerves to become more vulnerable to hot and cold. Current treatments, including special toothpastes, work by blocking the openings of the tubes. But the seal they create is superficial and doesn't stand up to the wear-and-tear of daily brushing and chewing. Lin's team wanted to find a more durable way to address the condition.

The researchers made a novel paste based on the elements found in , namely calcium and phosphorus. They applied the mixture to dogs' teeth and found that it plugged exposed tubes more deeply than other treatments. This depth could be the key, the researchers conclude, to repairing damaged and providing longer-lasting relief from .

Explore further: Nature-inspired advance for treating sensitive teeth

More information: A Mesoporous Silica Biomaterial for Dental Biomimetic Crystallization ACS Nano, 2014, 8 (12), pp 12502–12513. DOI: 10.1021/nn5053487

Abstract
The loss of overlying enamel or cementum exposes dentinal tubules and increases the risk of several dental diseases, such as dentin hypersensitivity (causing sharp pain and anxiety), caries, and pulp inflammation. This paper presents a fast-reacting, more reliable and biocompatible biomaterial that effectively occludes exposed dentinal tubules by forming a biomimetic crystalline dentin barrier. To generate this biomaterial, a gelatin-templated mesoporous silica biomaterial (CaCO3@mesoporous silica, CCMS) containing nanosized calcium carbonate particles is mixed with 30% H3PO4 at a 1/1 molar ratio of Ca/P (denoted as CCMS-HP), which enables Ca2+ and PO43–/HPO42– ions to permeate the dentinal tubules and form dicalcium phosphate dihydrate (DCPD), tricalcium phosphate (TCP) or hydroxyapatite (HAp) crystals at a depth of approximately 40 μm (sub-μ-CT and nano-SEM/EDS examinations). In vitro biocompatibility tests (WST-1 and lactate dehydrogenase) and ALP assays show high cell viability and mineralization ability in a transwell dentin disc model treated with CCMS-HP (p < 0.05). The in vivo efficacy and biocompatibility analyses of the biomaterial in an animal model reveal significant crystal growth (DCPD, TCP or HAp-like) and no pulp irritation after 70 days (p < 0.05). The developed CCMS-HP holds great promise for treating exposed dentin by growing biomimetic crystals within dentinal tubules. These findings demonstrate that the mesoporous silica biomaterials presented here have great potential for serving as both a catalyst and carrier in the repair or regeneration of dental hard tissue.

Related Stories

Nature-inspired advance for treating sensitive teeth

January 2, 2013

Taking inspiration from Mother Nature, scientists are reporting an advance toward preventing the tooth sensitivity that affects millions of people around the world. Their report on development of the substance, similar to ...

1 in 8 adults may have sensitive teeth

March 1, 2013

(HealthDay)—If you sometimes get a jolt of pain in your mouth when you drink or eat something hot or cold, you're not alone: A new survey of U.S. dental offices finds that one in eight people has over-sensitive teeth.

Recommended for you

Atomic blasting creates new devices to measure nanoparticles

December 14, 2017

Like sandblasting at the nanometer scale, focused beams of ions ablate hard materials to form intricate three-dimensional patterns. The beams can create tiny features in the lateral dimensions—length and width, but to create ...

Engineers create plants that glow

December 13, 2017

Imagine that instead of switching on a lamp when it gets dark, you could read by the light of a glowing plant on your desk.

Faster, more accurate cancer detection using nanoparticles

December 12, 2017

Using light-emitting nanoparticles, Rutgers University-New Brunswick scientists have invented a highly effective method to detect tiny tumors and track their spread, potentially leading to earlier cancer detection and more ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.