Lozenge could treat tooth sensitivity permanently, study shows

Sensitive Teeth Woman

Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle have developed a dental lozenge that could provide a permanent treatment for tooth sensitivity, according to a UW News article.

The treatment uses a peptide derived from a larger protein called amelogenin, which is key in the biological development of human teeth, explained Dr. Sami Dogan, a professor of restorative dentistry. Named sADP5, the tailored peptide “grabs” calcium and phosphate ions -- the main mineral components of teeth -- and uses them to build new mineral microlayers, he said.

Colleague Deniz T. Yücesoy, PhD, added, "Our technology forms the same minerals found in the tooth, including enamel, cementum, and dentin alike, which had dissolved previously through demineralization and caused the sensitivity. The newly formed mineral microlayers close the communication channels with the tooth nerves, and then hypersensitivity shouldn’t be an issue for you."

Ultimately, the peptide can be integrated into nearly any type of oral health product, the group noted. In preclinical trials, participants received a dental lozenge the size of a cough drop, which contained a core of calcium and phosphate coated in a layer of peptide-infused flavoring. Researchers have also designed peptide-based formulations, including mouthwash, dental gels, tooth whiteners, and toothpaste, according to the article.

The research was published on February 28 in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering.

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