Some dentists recommend chewing a piece of sugar-free gum or enjoying a sugar-free mint after meals but imagine if your after-meal treat could rebuild your enamel and whiten your teeth. This lozenge may be a reality before long thanks to researchers at the University of Washington School of Dentistry. The team of researchers is working on a breath mint that adds new enamel to the teeth with each use. This new enamel will be whiter than the enamel that already exists on your teeth, so it may also have a whitening effect.
How Does the Enamel Lozenge Work?
The lozenge contains the building blocks of tooth enamel, including a genetically engineered peptide, phosphorus, and calcium ions. Each lozenge uses the peptide to deposit several micrometers of new enamel on the teeth. Because of the lozenge’s careful engineering, the new enamel can bind with damaged or existing enamel to repair or strengthen it — all without affecting the mouth’s soft tissue.
Additionally, the new layer integrates with dentin, which is the living tissue underneath the tooth’s surface. One lozenge a day can help maintain a healthy later of enamel and consuming two lozenges a day can rebuild your enamel. As we mentioned earlier, the new enamel will be whiter than any enamel that tooth-whitening strips, gels, and pastes produce, and unlike these other whitening methods, the lozenge won’t damage your teeth.
Researchers say the lozenge can be used like a mint, and it should be safe for both adults and children!
Where Can I Buy the Lozenge?
Unfortunately, you can’t buy the enamel-building lozenge quite yet. The lozenges are currently undergoing a clinical trial, and researchers are “discussing commercial applications with potential corporate partners.”
Although testing on extracted teeth and live rats has been successful, the researchers hope to demonstrate efficacy, document their study, and see how the lozenge compares to existing treatments. If all goes well, the team also hopes to develop products that can be used in dental offices and apply the new technology to over-the-counter toothpaste. The engineered peptide may also be helpful for treating hypersensitive teeth, providing permanent pain relief by strengthening the enamel.
As for when you can buy the lozenge: The trials should take “no more than three months,” but the team “has not fixed a timetable for its [the lozenge’s] introduction.”
On the Cutting Edge of Dentistry
At Anne Lyon, DDS, we are excited to share news of this incredible research with you. Rest assured, we will be first in line for these revolutionary new products, and we can’t wait to have yet another tool to revitalize and maintain your gorgeous smile.
For over 25 years, we have been investing in state-of-the-art equipment and our patients. We hope to welcome you into our dental family soon, too.