A new toothpaste that contains tiny glass balls could help with dental conditions and stop decay from becoming a problem. The spheres, which are no wider than a human hair, are made up of calcium and phosphate – both of which the body needs to create the enamel and keep the teeth healthy. The product has been developed to repair tooth decay when a filling is not yet necessary.
The tiny glass balls were created by a team of dentists and scientists at Queen Mary, the University of London and they are designed to reinforce sections of weakened enamel or areas where the gum tissue has started to separate from the teeth. The spheres dissolve when they come into contact with moisture and the minerals inside are released – which normally takes under eight hours. This is not the first design of its kind, but the creators claim that their product dissolves eight times faster than similar designs and this makes it much more effective.
The glass that forms the shell around the minerals is called bioglass and it is biodegradable; it also has the ability to retain the calcium and phosphate while contained in the toothpaste, then release them when it comes into contact with saliva in the mouth. The team recently won a £25,000 prize for their innovation and is hoping to launch the product within the next two years.