Printer Friendly

Tooth-building material for dental care.

Healthy teeth are strong bulwarks of crystalline calcium phosphate. Cavities and painful sensitivity to hot and cold foods result when these tooth minerals are lost. Scientists have now found a way to replace this same tough material. Their discovery could lead to toothpastes, mouth rinses, and even chewing gums that remineralize teeth.

Dental researchers have long sought a way to make calcium phosphate dissolve and then recrystallize on teeth. And they needed this process to happen fast - in just five minutes - in order for the material to do its trick during tooth-brushing.

At the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md., researchers led by Ming S. Tung have developed a form of calcium phosphate that fits the bill. It's amorphous - that is, there's no consistent order to the material - so it dissolves quickly and easily, It also precipitates on teeth in the hard crystalline form.

The American Dental Association has patented the fluffy, white material. Enamelon, Inc., a company in Yonkers, N.Y, has begun to make gum and toothpaste with it and to test these products in clinical trials. Other companies have shown interest in developing a mouthwash. Tung says his groups preliminary results suggest that rinsing with amorphous calcium phosphate does effectively treat temperature-sensitive teeth. "The beauty of this is that it's preventive," he adds.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:new form of calcium phosphate may be used to remineralize teeth
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jun 19, 1993
Words:219
Previous Article:A recipe for microwave semiconductors.
Next Article:Cyclical pattern suspected for quakes.
Topics:


Related Articles
How to give teeth a fluoride 'apatite.' (new treatment that is not soluble in saliva)
Rinsing away decay; while new inroads in chemical dentistry aren't likely to make the dentist's drill obsolete, they may reduce the need for drilling...
Scientists home in on tooth enamel gene.
The New Cavity Fighters.
Teeth tell tale of warm-blooded dinosaurs.
Novel material fights against cavities.
A natural bone cement--a laboratory novelty led to the development of revolutionary new biomaterials.
Structures of biological minerals in dental research.
Amorphous calcium phosphate-based bioactive polymeric composites for mineralized tissue regeneration.
Something to chew on: hard facts about tooth enamel.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters