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Tooth sensitivity and cavities are problems for many people. Why is it that some people take a sip of an ice cold drink and experience sharp pain shooting through their teeth?

Teeth consist of three layers, and when the outer layer is worn down, the next layer of the tooth, called dentin, becomes exposed. The microscopic hollow tubes in the dentin layer lead to the tooth’s nerve endings inside the third layer, called the pulp. When extreme heat or cold travels to the nerve endings, you experience pain. What keeps this from happening in a healthy tooth is the hard layer of enamel, which is a strong mineralized layer that protects the dentin and pulp (the innermost layer).

The Traditional Approach to Dealing with Tooth Sensitivity and Cavities

The traditional approach to dealing with tooth sensitivity and cavities is to plug the tubes with a mineral called nano-hydroxyapatite. The problem with this mineral is that it doesn’t withstand regular tooth brushing, grinding, erosion or the acid caused by bacteria that leads to cavities.

The ideal approach would deal with getting rid of the bacteria while also overcoming tooth sensitivity.

New Research Using Green Tea Extract

According to Science Daily, the technique used in the recent green tea extract research was to take the mineral (nano-hydroxyapatite), combine it with the green tea extract and encapsulate them in silica nanoparticles. Together, they would withstand the acid, brushing, drilling and other erosive agents. The acronym for this combination of  three materials is EGCG. EGCG also fights the bacteria that create biofilm, which leads to cavities.

Researchers tested EGCG by plugging the tubes in extracted wisdom teeth. The teeth released EGCG for at least 96 hours and also had low toxicity. The test showed that EGCG was a promising solution for tooth sensitivity and cavities.

Do You Have Questions About Dental Care?

Dr. Baker is glad to answer your questions, explain dental technology and can help you take good care of your teeth and gums.