Unlike your fingernails, tooth enamel doesn’t grow back. This hard coating provides your teeth with natural protection against cavities and sensitivity. When this enamel wears away, your teeth become exposed to these dangers. So, in addition to the increased risk of cavities, the lack of enamel can also cause sensitivity to heat or cold. This can be very painful and it is something that you’ll have to deal with for the rest of your life — or maybe you won’t.
Advancements in nanotechnology are now showing that There’s new hope for the protection of teeth. Nanotechnology is a science that uses very, very tiny particles to infiltrate the body in order to help cure diseases and regenerate tissue. By creating microscopic nanospheres of ceramic material, doctors believe that they may have the power to undo damage to tooth enamel. By blocking the holes in the enamel, these spheres may be able to limit the sensitivity of teeth to heat and cold.
The condition, which is known as hypersensitivity, is caused by the exposure of fluid channels in the teeth. Microscopic fluid channels in the dentin (the principal mass of a tooth) help relay messages to the nerves, but extreme temperatures can inspire movement inside the channels. This tells the nerve that something’s wrong and intense pain is triggered as a warning.
Treatments for hypersensitivity have been limited. While ceramic coatings do currently exist for teeth, these don’t do a perfect job of filling in the enamel. As well, these ceramic coatings are quite thick and they aren’t suitable for all your teeth. The nanospheres seem to provide a better shape for filling teeth and their size makes them ideal for coating any problem areas on your teeth’s surface.
The technology is still being developed and researchers are looking for even better ways to use nanospheres. One idea is to enhance the filler with fluorine and hydroxyapatite. These substances could add extra protection to teeth while encouraging minerals to stick to the teeth in order to help repair the enamel in the long run. We’ll keep you posted on this exciting development.