Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste - Does it Work?
Before we dive into Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste and answer the question; Does hydroxyapatite toothpaste work? Let’s take a look at hydroxyapatite itself.
What is Hydroxyapatite?
Hydroxyapatite is a naturally occurring mineral form of calcium apatite. It is also the essential ingredient that makes up the human bone, including our teeth. The physical appearance of Hydroxyapatite is best characterized by its milky white color and hexagonal growth structures. In the field of medicine and biomaterials, hydroxyapatite has gained attention for its ability to encourage bone growth. Also for its ability to protect the enamel covering our teeth, rebuild decayed enamel, and prevent demineralization.
Plus, it is rich in calcium and phosphate. Both of which are key ingredients that strengthen bones and protect from diseases such as rickets and osteomalacia (softening of the bones).
When most people think of toothpaste, they think of fluoride as being a critical ingredient. That it needs to be included in their dental routine to maintain healthy teeth. After all, fluoride has been scientifically proven to help teeth become stronger in resisting bacteria and fighting tooth decay. Plus, it helps balance the levels of mineralization in our mouth. This to ensure that your tooth’s enamel does not fall prey to dental caries (cavities). However, what most individuals do not know about hydroxyapatite is that it is the hardest substance in our body. It holds significant ability to improve dental hygiene. Much like fluoride, hydroxyapatite can help restore depleted mineral content in your teeth in a process called ‘remineralization’.
Hydroxyapatite and Tooth Enamel
In order to prevent your enamel from wearing away, there has been increased interested in including hydroxyapatite in toothpaste. It has been discovered that toothpastes that contain appropriate quantities of hydroxyapatite, can strengthen the enamel by building and rebuilding its structure (as required) through remineralization. Plus, it helps teeth fight against dental complications such as tooth decay and the development of cavities. Hydroxyapatite works by creating a shield from the inside. Where it is absorbed by the teeth and gradually reaches the exterior. This will produce strong, healthy, and bacteria-resistant teeth. If you have cavities already, then hydroxyapatite can help heal them. By improving the hardness of teeth, it equips your enamel to endure varying dental complications. These range from plaque buildup to tooth decay.
How is Hydroxyapatite Different from Fluoride?
Hydroxyapatite has recently been pitted against fluoride in fierce competition to determine which is the more effective ingredient. To this end, it is worth noting that both fluoride and hydroxyapatite work in different ways. Fluoride is the only element (stable in water) that exists such that it can physically help your teeth become stronger and reverse early tooth decay. The negatively charged ions in fluoride toothpaste meet positively charged ions such as sodium in your mouth to produce cavity fighters that protect your teeth from damage. Meanwhile, hydroxyapatite is absorbed by the teeth where it penetrates deep enough to replace lost minerals such as calcium and phosphates. It starts from the bottom of your teeth and works its way to the top to act as a shield to protect your teeth from damage and decay.
[Please note that we are only concerned with topical application of both fluoride and hydroxyapatite.]
Hydroxyapatite and Fluoride Research
A study that compared the efficacy of hydroxyapatite and fluoride toothpaste in children concluded that 10% hydroxyapatite achieved comparable efficacy with 500 ppm F− in rebuilding the enamel. Both fluoride and hydroxyapatite have been known to have similar improvements on dental health in restorative dentistry. The drawback with fluoride is that it is toxic in large doses. When applied topically, prescription-strength fluoride in toothpastes can lead to incredible improvements in dental hygiene and maintaining healthy teeth. However, the water solubility of fluoride means that it can accumulate in the body anywhere from your brain to your pineal gland, which is responsible for ensuring a good night’s sleep. While there are many benefits to topical application of fluoride, ingesting it promises no such dental improvements.
How Does Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste Work?
Hydroxyapatite works by finding cracks, crevices, and fissures in your teeth. Then fills those microscopic gaps so that they do not end up becoming breeding grounds for harmful bacteria. Your teeth are made up of hydroxyapatite, so your body does not have a difficult time recognizing this compound and welcomes it quickly. Once absorbed by the teeth, this compound finds its way to your tooth’s root and begins performing restorative and remineralization processes. This protects your teeth from bacteria, acid attack, and tooth decay. It can also help the physical appearance of your teeth in making them look brighter and shinier. Plus, hydroxyapatite is known to minimize tooth sensitivity and overcome oral complications without being dangerous in higher quantities.
Fluoride or Hydroxyapatite? – Both, With a Few Exceptions!
Current scientific research and studies in dentistry point in the direction of how appropriate quantities of hydroxyapatite are either just as effective as fluoride in toothpaste or even more depending on the patient’s oral history. While the two ingredients are comparable when it comes to their inclusion in toothpaste formula. Hydroxyapatite may be better for some people depending on the situation that they find themselves in. For example, excessive consumption of fluoride when breastfeeding has been cautioned against. Additionally, high concentrations of this element can lead to dental fluorosis and thyroid problems. A concentration of 0.7 ppm is considered ideal should you want to go ahead with fluoride toothpaste. On the other hand, dosage is not a serious concern when it comes to hydroxyapatite.
The Effects of Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste
According to a study published in the Journal of Dental Research, hydroxyapatite is incredibly effective when it is paired with fluoride to remineralize teeth. The study examined 80 extracted pairs of teeth and studied the impact of both fluoride and fluoride that had been mixed with hydroxyapatite. An acid solution was used to demineralize the teeth to mirror the effect of bacteria releasing acids to break down the enamel. Next, forty pairs of teeth were brushed with fluoride toothpaste. The other forty were brushed with toothpaste that contained both fluoride and hydroxyapatite. The study found that teeth brushed with a combination of both fluoride and hydroxyapatite were significantly stronger and had noticeably greater impacts of remineralization.
Nano Hydroxyapatite Study
In another clinical study looked at how Nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste can reduce sensitivity in teeth. Dental hypersensitivity is sharp tooth pain that is felt when the enamel is exposed to extreme (hot or cold) temperatures when indulging in activities such as biting into freezing cold ice cream or gulping down very hot tea. It affects 85% of the population who experience a stinging pain when their teeth come into contact with extremely hot or cold stimuli. The trial enrolled individuals with self-reported hypersensitivity in teeth and were prescribed a new toothpaste (Sensitive AO ProToothpaste by PerioSciences) that included potassium nitrate, sodium monoflurophosphate, and Nano-hydroxyapatite. It also included antioxidants phloretin, ferulic acid and silymarin, all of which were added to help with a healthy smile.
The study gauged how the toothpaste influenced dental sensitivity two days. And two weeks after patients incorporated it in their dental routine. The result was that individuals noticed an average of 52% improvement in sensitivity after two days. And between 70% to 84% improvement after two weeks. For this reason, it is fair to conclude that hydroxyapatite plays a critical role in minimizing dental sensitivity by strengthening teeth and remineralizing them to fight against dental complications.
Edward P. Allen (DDS, PhD, a periodontist and co-author of the study) believes the new toothpaste’s rapid effectiveness can be owed to the inclusion of an ingredient called Nano-hydroxyapatite. According to Allen, “It’s a calcium-based compound found in the natural tooth structure that actually seems to replace some of the materials in the enamel and dentin.” Next, he goes onto explain why the impact of hydroxyapatite can be isolated from other ingredients that have been used in formulating Sensitive AO ProToothpaste by PerioSciences. “The other ingredients in the toothpaste, monofluorophosphate and potassium nitrate, are routinely used in ‘sensitive’ toothpastes. However, most patients require at least one week to feel any difference in their pain.”
Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste Conclusion – What Does This Mean for You?
Hydroxyapatite is an upcoming compound that has incredible impacts and benefits on dental health. Since 1912, Fluoride has been the gold standard for dental hygiene. Which is why it has been used in creating toothpastes. However, Nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste is changing how we approach the formula for toothpaste. Studies show maximum results (fighting plague, improving sensitivity, and mineralizing teeth) while being 100% safe to use, even when ingested. Consult your dentist and consider switching to hydroxyapatite toothpaste for at least two weeks to determine how it improves your dental health.