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Researchers Design Lozenge That Rebuilds Tooth Enamel

The concept of a restorative and preventive lozenge that rebuilds tooth enamel and whitens teeth may be closer to becoming a reality if clinical trials led by a team of University of Washington (UW) researchers yield positive results.

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enamel tooth graphic
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The concept of a restorative and preventive lozenge that rebuilds tooth enamel and whitens teeth may be closer to becoming a reality if clinical trials led by a team of University of Washington (UW) researchers yield positive results. The novel lozenge contains phosphorus, calcium ions, and engineered peptides (known as amelogenin-derived peptides, or ADPs) that have been genetically derived from amelogenin, the key protein in tooth development.

According to Mehmet Sarikaya, PhD, a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Chemical Engineering at UW, the peptides bind to damaged enamel and deliver several micrometers of new enamel, helping to build a healthy layer that integrates with dentin, all while not affecting the oral soft tissue.

Sami Dogan, DDS, an associate professor of restorative dentistry at UW and an investigator on the interdisciplinary team, explains the lozenge uses a mechanism of action that is additive (as opposed to subtractive, as found in corrosive chemistry-containing whitening products), thereby addressing the common side effects of whitening agents, such as dentinal hypersensitivity.

Expected to begin later this year, a small-scale study will evaluate the efficacy of the lozenges in the oral cavity. Investigators expect two lozenges a day will help rebuild enamel, while one lozenge daily should be sufficient to maintain the new enamel layer.

From Decisions in Dentistry. August 2021;7(8)6.

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