A group at Queen Mary University of London have now developed a very fast dissolving 'bioactive' glass which they are putting in toothpaste to repair decayed teeth.
Most people regard glass as being chemically stable and inert, and this is certainly the case for the type of glass used in windows, which thankfully doesn't dissolve when it rains.
However, a group at Queen Mary University of London have now developed a very fast dissolving 'bioactive' glass which they are putting in toothpaste to repair decayed teeth.
The team have already developed versions of bioactive glass that release fluoride, forming a chemical that mimics tooth and bone mineral, and have put these to use in toothpaste and dental fillings that put back the lost mineral in decayed teeth.
Now, the team's research in the Royal Society of Chemistry Journal Physical Chemistry B (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b02986) has shown the potential of a glass that uses chlorine instead of fluorine. The chlorine atom and ions are much bigger, which enables them to incorporate much more of it into the glass.
The team's spin out company BioMin Technologies Ltd have also launched the first product based on these Chloride-containing glasses - a remineralizing toothpaste called "BioMinC". The toothpaste is designed for people who don't want to use a Fluoride-containing toothpaste and for areas of the world where the water is naturally fluoridated (http://www.biomin.co.uk/products/biomintm-c-toothpaste).
Professor Robert Hill from QMUL's Institute of Dentistry said: "This toothpaste is unique because it can put back the mineral lost from your teeth after consumption of an acidic drink, but without the use of fluoride. This isn't just for people who have bad teeth, everyone can potentially benefit from using this new toothpaste."