Ah, rocky road, your favorite ice cream flavor. The rich chocolate cream, the swirl of marshmallow, the slivers of almonds. You’ve been waiting for this for a while. You dig in and get a nice heaping mouthful. An instant rush of pleasure, as the sweet chocolate hits your tongue, and then- the pain; the sharp shooting pain of the cold ice cream hitting your sensitive teeth. If your teeth are sensitive, eating ice cream may not be the simple pleasure it is for most of us, but there may be relief on the way. Here are what some experts are saying about how the polyphenols in green tea might be just what you need to keep your sensitive teeth healthy.
Tooth sensitivity and toothache reportedly affect more than 25 percent of the people in the US. For those people, drinking or eating something extremely hot or cold can mean intolerable pain. While available treatments are often ineffective, and can even predispose patients to cavities and bacteria, researchers have now developed a new treatment for sensitive teeth using polyphenols from green tea.
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the protective enamel on the tooth’s surface erodes, exposing the bony tissue, called dentin. Dentin contains empty microtubes, and when the ends of these tubes are open, they let cold and hot liquids go straight to the nerve of the tooth causing a sharp pain.
People with sensitive teeth can also become prone to developing cavities when these microtubules are exposed to bacteria.
The current treatment for this condition is a material called nano-hydroxyapatite, which works by closing the microtubules, however, it is not resistant enough to block bacteria. Thus scientists have been motivated to find an alternate treatment.
Dr. Cui Huang of Wuhan University in China is at the forefront of this new treatment, which adds a green tea compound to the traditional nano-hydroxyapatite. This compound is called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, (ECGC) which is the most active polyphenol in green . Using a technique called confocal laser scanning microscopy, researchers tested the newly developed biomaterial’s ability to block the formation of the biofilm that forms on the dentin’s surface.
Tests revealed that the new biomaterial was capable of successfully blocking dent in microtubules and reducing dentin permeability and could release ECGC for more than 96 hours. According to Dr. Huang, “…the development bridges the gap between multifunctional concept and dental clinical practice and is promising in providing dentists a therapeutic strategy for the management of the dentin surface to counter dentin hypersensitivity and carries.”
Do you suffer from sensitive teeth? What do you think of this new treatment for tooth sensitivity? Let us know what this new development means to you.