What is Hydroxyapatite toothpaste?
There’s a (relatively) new active ingredient in toothpaste town.
It’s called hydroxyapatite which is actually the main mineral component of teeth. More than 90% of tooth enamel (the hard surface layer) and 70% of dentine (the layer underneath the enamel) consists of hydroxyapatite.
Nano-hydroxyapatite is synthetically manufactured to be bioidentical to the hydroxyapatite found in our teeth. This is the most common form used in toothpaste, toothpowder or tooth tablets.
Microcrystalline hydroxyapatite is derived from animal bones, usually, cattle but sometimes fish (so it is not vegan). It is a slightly coarser powder than the nano form. Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite is more commonly found in supplements for bone support.
How remineralization works
Your body naturally keeps your teeth remineralized, mostly from the inside out.
Teeth are made up of tiny tubules running from the root to the enamel surface.
The tubules carry a solution of mineral molecules extracted from nutrients in your food.
The teeth nourishing solution is pushed through the tubes by dentinal flow which is highly responsive to stress and blood sugar levels.
When your nervous system is stressed or your blood sugar is high the dentinal flow gets switched off, the teeth can start to demineralize and those tiny tubules on the surface of your enamel start absorbing molecules inwards instead of pushing them outwards.
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How hydroxyapatite toothpaste remineralizes tooth enamel
As a toothpaste ingredient, hydroxyapatite can remineralize decay and small cavities in enamel.
When nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste is brushed onto your teeth, and left to sit (not rinsed off) it can penetrate and seal the enamel’s tiny tubules with almost exactly the same minerals that have been lost through demineralization.
By blocking up your teeth’s tubules, hydroxyapatite toothpaste can help stop the inflow of bacteria from your oral microbiome into teeth.
How does hydroxyapatite compare to fluoride and Xylitol?
Hydroxyapatite toothpaste’s outside-inwards remineralization helps to protect the nerve in the centre of your tooth. Sensitivity is reduced, along with sensations of pain stimulated from the surface of the tooth.
Hydroxyapatite is particularly effective in reducing tooth sensitivity, so it’s a great alternative to Sensodyne toothpaste, in which the active ingredients are analgesics that minimise the discomfort without actually strengthening teeth.
Scientific tests have found hydroxyapatite is better at reducing sensitivity than fluoride. Hydroxyapatite works to help to protect teeth against caries and dental erosion making it a great alternative to fluoride, without any neurotoxin risks.
Hydroxyapatite is biocompatible and safe enough to swallow, making it a much safer alternative to Xylitol (which can damage your gut).
It’s encouraging to see that there’s increasing research evidence that hydroxyapatite offers low-risk protection and repair.
You might still have to go out of your way to find a toothpaste brand that include a therapeutic proportion of Hydroxyapatite as an active ingredient, but I think it’s worth it!
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Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!
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Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system
These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.
Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.
You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.