Another set of remineralization ingredients
by Patti DiGangi, RDH, BS
Dental health professionals often put products into patients' mouths without much consideration. Many of us have had a note sent home from our children's school explaining that no peanut products are allowed. A new data brief released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in October 2008 reported children with food allergies increased by 18% between 1997 and 2007. For most of us, grains are an important and healthy part of our daily diets. Yet for those who are sensitive or allergic, ingestion can lead to miserable results, and may even be life-threatening. Toxicity is not based on an ingredient; toxicity is individual. Immunocompromised individuals often use allergy and asthma medications that lead to xerostomia and other problems, which lead to both caries and periodontal breakdown. Yet those same allergies may be a limiting factor to finding products they can use.
Teeth can heal. Periodontal disease can be cured. Both of these ideas are from the emerging minimal intervention paradigm. There is a category of calcium phosphate technologies designed to strengthen enamel through remineralization chemistry by specific ingredients. The four technologies currently available are Recaldent, SensiStat, ADA Foundation ACP, and NovaMin®. These ingredients are in a wide variety of products. Professionals may feel inundated with product names and claims. Ingredients need to be investigated and understood, and care individualized. This article will delve into the technology behind products powered by NovaMin.
NovaMin was developed by two University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), dental professors, Dr. Gary Hack and Dr. Leonard Litkowski, and NovaMin Technology Inc. (NTI) co-inventor, Dr. David Greenspan. Hack, Litkowski, and Greenspan began developing the technology 10 years ago, with Dr. Hack researching tooth sensitivity, and Drs. Litkowski and Greenspan studying bone regeneration. Through their collaboration, NovaMin was created. NovaMin is a compound made from elements that are critical for bone and tooth mineralization: calcium, sodium, phosphorus, and silica (chemical name is calcium sodiumphosphosilicate). Individually, these elements are of limited value to oral health. The beauty of these inventors' work is the combination of the ionic forms that create the multibenefit NovaMin particle delivery system. When in contact with saliva or water, NovaMin produces a crystalline hydroxyl-carbonate apatite layer chemically and structurally the same as tooth mineral. In addition to supercharged remineralization actions, desensitizing qualities, and inhibiting the development of caries, studies have shown antimicrobial/anti-inflammatory benefits. This ingredient is a combination of naturally occurring elements, which reduces the possibility of allergic reactions.
Most of us are familiar with Nutrasweet® as the sugar-fee source of sweetness in more than 5,000 consumer products. Similarly, Intel® microprocessing chips deliver the superb computing power of many computer. NovaMin is an ingredient. Professionals will not purchase NovaMin by itself; Novamin is an ingredient in many new products.
Across the world, NovaMin has been added to toothpastes and will soon be added to dental floss, chewing gum, resorbable strips, and other applications through a variety of industry partners such as 3M/Omni, Sultan Healthcare, and Dentsply Professional. Dentsply's Nupro has long been a standard polishing product well known to hygienists. The latest edition to this family of products, Nupro® NUSolutions™, which was introduced in late 2008, is the only prophy paste powered by NovaMin.
Sultan Healthcare introduced three remineralization products in 2008: Topex ReNew® Remineralizing and Desensitizing Paste containing 5% NovaMin; DuraShield® Plus 5% Sodium Fluoride Varnish with 10% NovaMin; and VitalMinTM Tooth Root Desensitizer containing 50% NovaMin. This last product is of particular note for patients with allergies because by design it is 50% NovaMin and 50% water, and it contains no flavorings, bindings, or other ingredients.
Persons with allergies are often sensitive to these other ingredients. The NovaMin products open up many benefits to immunocompromised patients. NovaMin doesn't rely on saliva flow; it also reacts with water, making remineralization possible for patients with xerostomia.
There are no one-size-fits-all products. Each person is an individual. Each product used must be evaluated for efficacy and individual safety. Products powered by NovaMin are one of the important options.
CDC Study Finds Three Million U.S. Children have Food or Digestive Allergies. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Press Release. Oct. 22, 2008. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2008/r081022.htm
Cannarsa A. UMB dental professors turn research into business. Examiner.com San Francisco. Oct. 18, 2007. Available at: http://www.examiner.com/a-995825~UMB_dental_professors_turn_research_into_business.html
Rudder L. “Sultan Healthcare Launches Three New Remineralization Products.” Press Release Sultan Healthcare. Available at: http://sultanhc.com/swapped/96/subpageid/2747%201