What do you think about Hydroxyapatite for remineralizing teeth?
Hydroxyapatite (HAP), also known as Hydroxylapatite is a crystalline form of Calcium Phosphate. It is the form made by our bodies, to produce teeth and bones. To produce this form our bodies need available Calcium, Phosphorus and Hydroxide. Our teeth are comprised of 97% Hydroxyapatite (HAP) and only about 1.5% proteins (mainly collagen), and 1.5% water. Using calcium phosphates to promote remineralization and reduce caries has become a large area of study, particularly in Biomimetric Oral Care. (Biomimetric means relating to or denoting synthetic methods which mimic biochemical processes.) See the study, Overview of Calcium Phosphates used in Biomimetic Oral Care, which discusses the remineralization process and the current research on synthetic calcium phosphates. Studies have shown some results for remineralizing teeth and reducing caries using HAP. However, these studies use synthesized versions of calcium phosphates, including nanoparticles.
Synthetic HAP is akin to synthetic Fluoride, with fewer known side effects.
Our perspective is this, regarding synthetic Hydroxyapatite:
1) Not natural, a processed mineral. Hydroxyapatite is a form of Calcium Phosphate. In its natural state it has low solubility and is not well absorbed or utilized. Dental applications utilize synthesized HAP. Anything synthetic and/or "processed" (just like processed foods) has risks. As a company, we believe in natural ingredients in the most bioavailable form (that your body recognizes) - this is very different from "biocompatible".
2) Not proven safe (synthetic, nano version). In this meta-study (study of studies) from October 2018, titled Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) - Revision of the Opinion on hydroxyapatite (nano) in cosmetic products it is stated “the SCCS considered needle-shaped hydroxyapatite (nano) to be of concern due to its potential toxic effects, and stated that it should not be used in cosmetic products. In terms of other shapes of hydroxyapatite (nano), the available evidence was insufficient to allow drawing a conclusion on the safety of hydroxyapatite (nano) when used in oral cosmetic products up to a concentration of 10%.” It further recommended more studies should be performed to measure the systemic effects. It has not been proven safe. Furthermore, science still does not understand how nano particles impact the body. Here is an article from a a Ph.D. in cell biology and biochemistry about nano particles, and hydroxyapatite.
3) Doesn't work with the body's own natural systems for remineralization AND doesn't address the CAUSE of demineralization and caries (excess acidity due to diet). Our bodies are always trying to heal themselves. Giving the body what it needs, and can utilize (most bioavailable form), in the proper amount, with the necessary cofactors, while addressing and correcting the cause (diet and lifestyle) is the sustainable path for optimal health.
But what about natural Hydroxyapatite?
There are 2 forms, Biologic (Bone and Dentin) Hydroxylapatite and Geologic Hydroxylapatite. Natural forms of Hydroxyapatite meant for bone and dentin repair likely come from animal bones, so if you are taking this as a supplement (calcium hydroxyapatite) be sure to understand the source. Natural forms of Hydroxyapatite (biologic) included in toothpaste may not be bioavailable via transmucosal absorption due to molecule size and we are not aware of studies that show that it can work on contact to remineralize teeth. We urge customers to do their research.
Keep in mind, our bodies need more than just the minerals that are found in our teeth and bones - just supplementing with calcium and phosphorous or HAP will not guarantee remineralization. We also need magnesium (to balance and utilize calcium), Vitamin D, K and A, copper (which activates HAP) and many other nutrients that serve as co-factors or co-nutrients that help remineralization (and good health) happen. It is a symphony, not a solo act!
Natural, bio available minerals help build strong healthy teeth such as ionic macro minerals and trace minerals and vitamins. Some good sources are: plant based Fulvic Acid, Marine Vegetables (seaweed, algae, kelp, spirulina), natural living salts (eg. Himalayan, Bamboo, Baja Gold), Cod Liver Oil (Vitamin D and A) and Homeopathic Cell Salts (eg. Calc Phos, Silica, Calc Fluor).
We believe in the power of nature.
For more reading:
Akamai FAQ: How does remineralization work?