Imported from Europe, these toothpaste tubes really do contain NovaMin bioglass. Credit: Lipetz; GMIC
(Editor’s note: Like many of you, the executive director of the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council, Robert Lipetz, has followed Peter Wray’s reports on the glassless Sensodyne ‘Repair and Protect’ toothpaste sold in the US. So, when Lipetz went to Prague earlier this month to attend the International Congress on Glass, he knew to make time to go shopping. He relayed the following anecdote in the GMIC newsletter (pdf), which we reprint here with permission.)
By Robert Lipetz
A year ago in this newsletter, I related how I heard Larry L. Hench give the keynote address on the three generations of Bioglass at the 2012 ESG/DGG conference in Maastricht, the Netherlands. As his abstract stated, “Historically the function of biomaterials has been to replace diseased or damaged tissues. First generation biomaterials were selected to be as bio-inert as possible and thereby minimize formation of scar tissue at the interface with host tissues. Bioactive glasses were discovered in 1969 and provided for the first time an alternative; second generation, interfacial bonding of an implant with host tissues. Tissue regeneration and repair using the gene activation properties of Bioglass® provide a third generation of biomaterials.”
I was very interested to hear Dr. Hench describe how bioactive glass- containing toothpaste significantly increased tooth dentine mineral content after treatment with the formulation known as NovaMin. At that time, Glaxo SmithKline, did not market Sensodyne Repair and Protect toothpaste in the United States, so I packed my suitcase with 14 tubes and I having been using the product this past year. I was excited to see GSK finally advertise the release of Sensodyne Repair and Protect toothpaste in the United States last month. The excitement soon faded when I read Peter Wray’s article in the ACerS Ceramic Technology Today blog. Mr. Wray relayed that the newly marketed toothpaste did not contain NovaMin. I bought a tube, and sure enough, the only active ingredient listed was stannous fluoride. Neither I, nor GMIC, is endorsing this product. But, just to hedge my bets, before I left Prague this month, I packed my suitcase with another 23 tubes of toothpaste. You never know.