Why BioMin® F is more effective than NovaMin
Why BioMin® F is more effective than NovaMin
BioMin® F is a new generation of bioactive glass specifically optimised as a toothpaste additive. It features significant improvements on previous generations, such as NovaMin, the active ingredient in many sensitivity relieving toothpaste brands. Here’s why BioMin is more effective.
Further information regarding the study is available in the accompanying PDF file.
What are bioactive glasses?
Bioactive glasses are a group of surface reactive glass biomaterials. The biocompatibility of these glasses has led them to be researched extensively for use as implant materials in the human body to repair and replace diseased or damaged bone. The original concept behind NovaMin was as a bone substitute in the 1960s to help rehabilitate soldiers coming back from the Vietnam war.
Discovering that bioactive glass could have a role in remineralising damaged tooth enamel was almost stumbled upon, and so NovaMin began to be incorporated in toothpastes from the late 1990s and is essentially unchanged from the original formulation to this day. However, since NovaMin was not originally intended for dental use it has some shortcomings: the particle size is too big for efficient occluding of dentinal tubules, the phosphate concentration is not optimised for remineralisation of tooth enamel and it does not contain fluoride within the glass structure, so soluble fluoride needs to be added at the formulation stage.
How has BioMin F been optimised?
BioMin F is the result of many years’ development at Queen Mary University, London, where researchers have succeeded in refining the formulation of the bioactive glass to optimise it for use in the mouth.
Addition of fluoride
Unlike previous bioactive glasses, fluoride is incorporated into the structure of the glass, so that as BioMin F dissolves, calcium, fluoride and phosphate ions are gradually released in the correct concentrations, forming fluorapatite, the fluoride analogue of natural tooth mineral. This is more stable than hydroxyapatite and more acid resistant in the mouth.
Less is more
BioMin F contains less fluoride than conventional toothpastes. Regular toothpastes commonly contain 1450 ppm of soluble fluoride (usually sodium fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate), but it is important to consider that it is the body’s ability to assimilate the available fluoride that is key. By its nature, even a very high fluoride level of soluble sodium fluoride will quickly dissolve into the saliva and so most is swallowed (with potential health consequences). In fact within around 90 minutes there is unlikely to be enough fluoride present to have any therapeutic benefit. By contrast, BioMin F is designed to adhere to the teeth and release a low, gradual supply of calcium, fluoride and phosphate ions for up to 12 hours. This controlled delivery of fluoride is far more effective in producing fluorapatite, so the quantity of fluoride only needs to be the equivalent of around 600ppm. Less really is more.
Professor Ten Cate:
‘Low concentrations of fluoride have a beneficial effect on enamel and dentine remineralisation. For treatments to be effective longer than the brushing and salivary clearance, fluoride needs to be deposited and slowly released.’
BioMin F contains a much higher proportion of phosphate than NovaMin which enhances the effectiveness of the fluoride. The concentration of phosphate in BioMin F is almost 3x that of NovaMin, meaning that as the BioMin glass dissolves the calcium, phosphate and fluoride are in an optimal ratio in the saliva for the production of fluorapatite and available for several hours after brushing.
Smaller Particle Size
BioMin F particles are extremely tiny. This means they can enter the dentinal tubules, depositing fluorapatite within them. Occluding the tubules, not just coating the tooth surface, prevents the fluid flow within them that triggers sensitivity.
In the presence of acid in the mouth, BioMin F gets to work more quickly, dissolving faster to release the calcium, fluoride and phosphate and kickstart the remineralisation process. In addition, as the bioglass breaks down, the release of phosphate ions acts to simultaneously raise the mouth pH, acting as a buffer to the acid attack – the more acidic the environment, the faster the glass dissolves, the more potassium is released and so the greater the buffering effect – now that’s a clever toothpaste. Studies carried out worldwide have shown that BioMin F is more effective than NovaMin - both at reducing dentine hypersensitivity and remineralisation of lost and damaged tooth enamel. The graph below compares remineralisation rates between toothpastes – and BioMin can be seen to be significantly more effective.
Patients think so too. A growing body of evidence from dentists and hygienists has confirmed that patients really do find that BioMin F works, both at remineralisation and at reducing sensitivity. A study in Italy by Dr Stephano Daniele Study shows BioMin F works against dentine hypersensitivity showed that 73% of patients surveyed felt that BioMin F was more effective than any other sensitivity paste they had tried. BioMin really is better!
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