Understanding Nano Hydroxyapatite
Nano hydroxyapatite: the word looks like it just escaped from a chemistry textbook or an explanation of exotic cave formations. But, it’s actually something much closer to home. Hydroxyapatite is the mineral that makes up 60-70% of bones and 90% of tooth enamel. It is found in the saliva, where your body uses it to maintain tooth strength. Nano hydroxyapatite is the same mineral, made in a lab, that can be used by the body to replenish lost enamel minerals and encourage new bone growth and development.
But I thought bones were made of calcium?
Bones are made of calcium, as is tooth enamel. But, free calcium is not the version of calcium that your body can use. Nano hydroxyapatite is bioavailable, meaning it’s already in the form your body needs to use it. So, while drinking milk provides your body with calcium it can process into a usable form, nano hydroxyapatite is already useable.
So what can nano hydroxyapatite do to help?
Few materials have shown as much promise for improving dental materials and minerals as nano hydroxyapatite. It’s a remarkably well-studied material, and the news from the studies is good. When nano hydroxyapatite is combined with glass ionomers, it makes the material stronger and lets it hold up better under pressure (like the pressure caused by biting and chewing). This is helping to develop better materials for fillings when fillings become unavoidable.
Nano hydroxyapatite can be applied to the surface of implant posts. Doing so appears to stimulate bone growth of the existing bone surface, leading to improved outcomes for dental surgery.
You don’t need to have major issues to see the benefits of nano hydroxyapatite. Nano hydroxyapatite particles are biomimetic, meaning they mimic natural enamel. Studies (see here also) have shown those crystals begin remineralizing enamel surfaces in as little as 10 minutes. Nano hydroxyapatite does a better job remineralizing and strengthening teeth than a toothpaste containing just fluoride.
Also, studies have shown using a tooth gel containing nano HA after tooth whitening can greatly reduce the number of sensitive days and the discomfort of those days. It also has been shown in studies to be at least as effective and often more effective in remineralizing teeth than traditional fluoride treatments. It makes sense because nature uses Nano HA to remineralize the teeth, not fluoride.
Okay, so where do I get it and how do I use it?
Nano hydroxyapatite is most effective at remineralization when it’s already present in the mouth when oral pH drops. Oral pH drops after eating and drinking (other than plain water). If you are using it to heal early tooth lesions, it’s best to use it every day in your oral care products to ensure it is readily available for uptake.
CariFree tooth gels are formulated with bioavailable nano hydroxyapatite. They are a valuable tool in maintaining a healthy oral environment. Talk to your dentist about using CariFree tooth gels not just for cleansing, but also in trays as a sensitivity prevention treatment following professional tooth whitening. At the end of the day it is all about keeping the mouth in balance. If the mouth is not in balance, figure out why so you can start to address how to restore balance using the best therapeutic and restorative strategies.
For more reading on study findings related to nano hydroxyapatite, check out this summary of major study findings on the subject.
Nano Hydroxyapatite FAQs
How does nanohydroxyapatite work?
Nanohydroxyapatite is a form of calcium crystal. It works by remineralizing—it replaces missing sections of minerals that have dissolved out of enamel or bone by bonding directly to the bone or tooth surfaces. It can also stimulate new bone growth by acting on the cells that cause new bone to grow. It has been shown to help with oral surgery healing, it has been added to restorative dental materials to improve their effectiveness, and can help heal tooth surfaces.
Why should I use a toothpaste with nanohydroxyapatite?
It works. Fluoride is good for strengthening teeth, but nanohydroxyapatite is the closest thing possible to the natural mineral that makes up tooth enamel and bones. It’s a form of the mineral calcium that your body knows how to use to repair weakened and damaged enamel surfaces. So, a toothpaste with nanohydroxyapatite contains the basic building blocks of teeth and is the easiest tool to use in your at-home remineralizing care plan.
Can nanohydroxyapatite make a difference for my sensitive teeth?
Studies suggest it can. Sensitivity occurs when cold or hot temperatures or acids from the foods we eat, especially sugar acids, move from the outside of the teeth to the inside or come in contact with exposed root surfaces. Nanohydroxyapatite helps close dentin tubules (the small openings that connect the outside of the teeth to the inner dentin layer), reducing sensitivity and discomfort. [scanning electron microscope picture of nanoHa effects found at https://www.news-medical.net/image.axd?picture=2014%2f5%2fimage3.jpg] When studied to see if it could reduce sensitivity after tooth whitening, nanohydroxyapatite was shown to reduce the discomfort levels associated with bleaching and reduce the number of sensitive days.
Is nanohydroxyapatite safe to use?
Yes. As with any ingredient you put in or on your body, it’s important to consider not just how effective it is, but how safe it is. A safety review was conducted in 2018 that looked at several studies to assess nanohydroxyapatite’s safety as an oral care ingredient. It was judged to be safe and effective for use in oral care products. Gum tissue treated with nanohydroxyapatite did not show any signs of damage, and it dissolved completed in simulated stomach acids, meaning it can safely be removed from the body if some is accidentally swallowed. The authors of the review were comfortable calling it safe for ingestion (taking into the body).