Home > Press > ‘Nanospheres’ that block pain of sensitive teeth
‘Nanospheres’ that block pain of sensitive teeth
September 01, 2005
Nanospheres could help dentists fill the tiny holes in our teeth that make them incredibly sensitive, and that cause severe pain for millions of adults and children worldwide.
Preliminary research presented today at the Institute of Physics conference EMAG-NANO 2005 shows that creating tiny spheres of a ceramic material called hydroxyapatite could be a long term solution or cure for sensitive teeth.
Sensitive teeth or ‘dental hypersensitivity’ is a condition that arises when the dentine of the tooth is exposed. The dentine is made up of thousands of tiny fluid-filled channels which radiate outwards from the nerve endings at the centre of the tooth. Heat, some chemicals, and physical contact can cause the fluid in these channels to move – in or out – triggering the nerve endings and causing sharp pain.
If these channels (or ‘tubules’) are fully or partially blocked, the flow can be reduced and the pain stopped or significantly reduced. Currently, the only way to treat this condition is through good dental hygiene – using special toothpastes and fluorine mouthwashes which encourage re-mineralization of the dentine coating.
Jonathan Earl, David Wood and Steve Milne from the Institute of Materials Research at the University of Leeds have found that the most successful particle shape for filling these channels is a ‘nanosphere’ and are now trying to synthesize nanospheres of hydroxyapatite. Hydroxyapatite is a ceramic material which is highly compatible with teeth and bone and so is widely used by medics for bone grafts or dental coatings (because it binds strongly with the bone material).
Earl and his colleagues grew hydroxyapatite at various pH levels to vary the size of the particles it is made up of. At normal pH, it is composed of long rod-like structures but at high pH levels the particles of hydroxyapatite become smaller and more rounded, better for fitting inside the tiny channels in teeth.
To see whether nanospheres would be successful at filling the channels they used commercially available silica nanospheres of around 40nm in diameter.
Earl said: “We found these tiny spheres are really good at filling the channels in teeth, packing inside them quite evenly and going down the holes to a good depth. They'd be the perfect shape of particle for filling these channels and reducing or preventing the pain caused by sensitive teeth.”
The next stage of their research will be to work out how to synthesize nanospheres of hydroyapatite or a combination of hydroxyapatite and fluorine which would fill the holes and encourage re-mineralization at the same time and so be an incredibly powerful repair tool for dentists.
Go to the EMAG-NANO 2005 web site.
Copyright © Institute of Physics
If you have a comment, please Contact
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
Air Force’s 30-year plan seeks 'strategic agility' August 1st, 2014
IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014
Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014
Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014
Fonon Announces 3D Metal Sintering Technology: Emerging Additive Nano Powder Manufacturing Technology August 28th, 2014
SouthWest NanoTechnologies CEO Dave Arthur to Discuss “Carbon Nanotubes and Automotive Applications” at The Automotive Composites Conference and Expo 2014 (ACCE2014) August 28th, 2014
Nanodiamonds Are Forever: A UCSB professor’s research examines 13,000-year-old nanodiamonds from multiple locations across three continents August 27th, 2014
Competition for Graphene: Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate Ultrafast Charge Transfer in New Family of 2D Semiconductors August 26th, 2014
Raman Whispering Gallery Detects Nanoparticles September 1st, 2014
Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014
New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits August 29th, 2014
New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014
Sunblock poses potential hazard to sea life August 20th, 2014
AQUANOVA receives Technology Leadership Award 2014 FROST & SULLIVAN honors NovaSOL® Technology again August 12th, 2014
Nanotechnology used in sunscreens: a Mexican achievement May 14th, 2014
Production of Nanocapsule from Sea-Buckthorn Extract in Iran May 3rd, 2014