Revolutionary oral health strategies unveiled

A major symposium today (Thursday) unveiled the newest research technologies in the world of oral health.

It also saw the first UK presentation of Oral-B’s all-in-one Pro-Expert toothpaste.

Experts in the fields of oral health, biofilms and oral disease joined scientists and researchers to learn of Oral-B’s latest developments in oral care product technology.

The symposium was held at Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge Surrey and an accompanying exhibit by the Research and Development Group of Procter and Gamble’s Oral-B brand, located at the London Innovation Centre (LINC) in Surrey, also hosted the introduction of the newest research technologies, demonstrating how Oral-B is driving innovation in oral care.

The technologies can be used to measure the therapeutic efficacy of oral health products as well as predict the oral health status of an individual or group.

The LINC is one of the world’s leading Oral Care Research Centres of Procter & Gamble where toothpastes are developed and tested for worldwide use.

Attended by more than 70 professionals, key opinion leaders and the dental press the 2011 Oral-B Symposium was addressed by Professor Jimmy Steele, head of Newcastle School of Dental Sciences.

Professor Steele’s led the independent report into NHS dentistry which led to the formulation of new NHS contract pilots to be launched this year.

Professor Steele began by asking what technology has done for oral health and listed implants and adhesive dentistry as the subjects usually brought to mind.

Pointing out that implants are of benefit to only a very small proportion of the population and that adhesive dentistry is ‘shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted’ (in terms of teeth already having suffered damage) he suggested instead that the technology of fluoride toothpaste for delivery of beneficial oral health ‘here and now’ was a reality that had caused a step change in oral heath in recent years.

Professor Steele stated that more people are keeping more teeth for longer, and focused on 45-year-olds as representing the key turning point for oral health.

People under the age of 45 had received a lifetime of the newest technologies in oral care resulting in them possessing far more healthy teeth than their age equivalents in modern history.

And the agent acting as the catalyst for this remarkable change?

Fluoride toothpaste; demonstrating that the capacity of population-wide technologies to make a real contribution to oral health should not be underestimated.

Professor Ian Needleman (above), of the Unit of Periodontology, International Centre for Evidence Based Oral Health at the Eastman Dental Institute, was next to address the audience.

His presentation ‘Use and Efficacy of Antimicrobials in Dentistry’ took the audience through the subjects of biofilms and antimicrobials in the prevention of oral diseases, notably periodontal disease.

Describing how, although humans are made up of billions of cells only 10% are mammalian, Professor Needleman succinctly summarised the situation that ‘we are our biofilms’.

In relation to oral health this is specifically dental plaque and he acknowledged that controlling and manipulating plaque as a biofilm rather than attempting to eliminate it was the appropriate strategy. Increased sophistication of biofilm research methods would reap huge benefits in developing effective technologies, he predicted.

Listing five antimicrobials; chlorhexidine, cetyl pyridinium chloride, triclosan, essential oils and stannous fluoride, Professor Needleman described each of them in terms of their substantivity, clinical efficacy, antimicrobial mode of action and side effects and how several of them have shown clear effects on plaque and to some extent on gingival health.

In reviewing these agents he stressed that relatively small changes in the dental plaque of individuals might achieve important benefits for communities.

Preventable oral diseases remained prevalent but antimicrobial oral care products could provide valuable benefits.

The symposium also saw the first presentation in the UK of Oral-B’s all-in-one Pro-Expert toothpaste with the background research and evidence supporting the remarkable eight claims made to benefit oral health.

Pro-Expert toothpaste is proven to protect against plaque, gum problems, caries and the prevention of erosion, calculus formation, dentine sensitivity, staining and bad breath.

The newly formulated all-in-one approach, supported by 15 years of clinical development and over 70 research papers and presentations, was given thorough explanation by some of the researchers involved in its development as well as through a research and development exhibit.

The innovation of Oral-B Pro-Expert toothpaste lies in the synergy of the combination of the two main ingredients, the unique power of stabilised stannous fluoride and the protective properties of polyphosphate.

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