Dentin hypersensitivity (DH) is a common problem and the treatment modalities are, if they work at all, short lived. The object of this project is t produce a product that can occlude patent dentinal tubules (the cause of DH) and adhere to the wet interior surface of the dentinal tubules. The research goal of this study is to optimize the fluorapatite (FA) crystal/polymer of adhesive polymer, poly(DMA-MEA) ratio for immediate and long term occlusion of the patent dentinal tubules. The FA crystals are the same as those found in dental enamel and synthetic polymer which mimics the naked amino acid 3,4 dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) found in the mussel adhesive mucus. The synthesized FA crystals will be mixed with the polymer at certain ratios, applied to dentin sections and the dentinal conductivity (the gold standard used for testing dentin desensitizing agents) measured. . Once the optimized ratio for occlusion has been established its effect on dentinal tubule occlusion will be observed in the SEM . The release of F, Ca and PO4 from the FA/polymer paste will also be measured at neutral and acidic pH. This ion release, along with saliva, will help in the formation of a mineralized layer on the dentin which will help in the long term relief f DH. This product for treating DH will be: biocompatible, non-toxic, allow for diffusion of ions;easily applied;adherent to tooth structure in the wet environment of the oral cavity;and aesthetic - a "natural" product.
This grant proposes a novel way of treating sensitive teeth;a problem that affects about 50% of the population at sometime. A desensitizing paste will be produced which contains mineral crystals which are similar to the natural crystals in teeth, mixed with a gel that will stick to wet tooth surfaces. It is anticipated that the paste will give immedite relief by blocking open tubules running from the surface of the dentin to the live part of the toot;and long term relief by causing a mineralized barrier to form, overtime, on the sensitive tooth surface.