Is it possible to put an end to tooth holes of people with sensitive teeth?
An ice cold drink can perfectly quench your thirst in a hot summer day, but this drink can cause pain for people with sensitive teeth. This problem can be overcome by way of treatment, but many present approaches have short-term effect. As reported in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces a new material with green tea content could combat this problem -- and help alert tooth holes in these sensitive patients.
As a rule, tooth sensitivity happens when the protective layers of teeth are worn down, opening a bony tissue (dentin). This tissue has microscopic hollow tubes that, when uncovered, allow food, cold and hot liquids to touch nerve endings in the teeth, that’s why pain can appear. Dentin, when unprotected, is also vulnerable to appearance of tooth holes. There is an old approach to curing sensitivity which consists in plugging these tubes with a mineral (nanohydroxyapatite). But the material doesn't sustain in a proper way grinding, brushing, erosion or acid made by cavity-causing bacteria. Cui Huang and workmates wanted to remove sensitivity and eliminate the bacteria simultaneously.
The investigators encapsulated nanohydroxyapatite and a green tea polyphenol - epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) - in silica nanoparticles, which can sustain attrition and acid. EGCG was used in other studies to overcome Streptococcus mutans, which forms biofilms resulting in tooth holes. The test on removed wisdom teeth showed that the material plugged the dentin tubules, set free EGCG for 96 hours, sustained tooth erosion and brushing and alerted biofilm formation. The material is also characterized by low toxicity. So the investigators say the material could really be a perfect way to combat sensitivity of teeth and tooth holes.