A team of researchers at Queen Mary University of London, have invented tiny marbles that, when placed within toothpaste, can help stop tooth decay and relieve the problem of sensitive teeth by strengthening the tooth enamel.
Bioglass Repairs Tooth Enamel
These small balls are made from calcium phosphate glass, which is biodegradable. When teeth are brushed with toothpaste containing them, they fill in areas of damaged enamel or areas where the gum has started to retract from the tooth.
Bioglass can retain the calcium and phosphate inside the toothpaste, but when placed into a moist environment and in contact with saliva, it starts to dissolve. Thus, the balls release the phosphate and calcium in the mouth.
Researchers say that early trials of the invention reveal that a new surface is created on the teeth within three hours. The balls dissolve completely after about eight hours.
While there are other toothpastes containing similar glass balls on the market at present, researchers explain that the ones they have come up with dissolve eight times quicker and can form enamel faster. In addition, the higher concentration of phosphates suggests this toothpaste can repair teeth more efficiently. Choose the right toothpaste for you.
Academics think that the new product could be released within two years. One of the biggest challenges for researchers is to find ways to produce bioglass in commercial quantities, experts commented.