The findings published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, revealed that green tea extract epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) not only prevented tooth erosion by abrasive brushing but also prevented bio-film or plaque formation, which can lead to corrosion.
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the protective layers of teeth are worn away and a bony tissue called dentin is exposed. When this tissue is exposed its microscopic hollow tubes allow hot and cold liquids and food to come in close contact the underlying nerve endings in the teeth, which causes pain, as soon as you drink or eat anything that is either too hot or too cold. If left exposed for long, dentin also becomes vulnerable to cavity formation.
For the study the researchers Cui Huang from Wuhan University in China and colleagues took nanohydroxyapatite and EGCG - which has been shown to fight streptococcus mutans, forming biofilms that cause cavities.
The ingredients were then combined with the mineral silica nanoparticles which are known to shield the tooth from the acidic deposits on the enamel and consequent wear and tear. They further tested this on the sample tooth, and found that the formula acted as plugs to the exposed dentin tubules. The green tea compounds also act as a natural breath freshener as per the team.
The researchers further noted that the catechins (such as EGCG) stop adhesion of sugar containing materials on the tooth enamel, which causes plaque formation. The bacteteria in mouth feeds on the plaque, producing acidic residue that accelerate erosion of the tooth surface.