Health Additive helps teeth rebuild enamel

Keeping pearly whites pearly and white could do as much damage as the
acidic, sugary foods that turn them that fine shade of ecru.

Tooth enamel is under constant siege whether it’s the Coke with lunch,
pickle that came with the sandwich, aggressive attempts to brush teeth
clean or chemical whiteners.

Two dentists from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in
Baltimore City have a solution: A calcium-phosphorus additive that’s
being marketed in toothpaste, floss and various dental hygiene

Called NovaMin, the additive promotes regrowth of tooth enamel and won
creators Gary Hack and Leonard Litkowski their school’s Entrepreneurs
of the Year honors.

“It’s an absolutely natural product,” Hack said.

In addition to rebuilding enamel, “what it also does is desensitize
the tooth to hot and cold. ... We’re also seeing very good results in
reduction of gingival bleeding and gum disease,” he said.

While fluoride, which has been in toothpaste and drinking water for
more than 50 years, builds a protective shell over teeth, NovaMin
rebuilds enamel from the ground up.

“With our current diets being high in fruit juices and other
high-acidic foods, we’re seeing a lot of deterioration of enamel,”
Hack said.

After a while the surface is filled with microscopic pits, “like Swiss
cheese,” he said.

Fruit, yogurt, citrus and soft drinks, taken too often, can cause
permanent damage to teeth, according to the Academy of General

Called tooth erosion, this damage is more common today than it was
even five years ago.

As the damage progresses, the underlying material, called dentin,
becomes more visible, leaving a yellowed look.

Put down the peroxide whitening strip, though, Hack said. “Because
it’s rebuilding the enamel, NovaMin also whitens teeth.”

Hack and Litkowski’s work has generated 35 U.S. and international
patents, according to the Maryland School of Dentistry.


UMB dental professors turn research into business

(Chris Ammann/Examiner)
Dr. Gary Hack, an associate professor at the UMB Dental School, was
honored as one of the school’s entrepreneurs of the year for his work
on NovaMin, an ingredient that re-mineralizes tooth structure and
relieves sensitivity. – Andrew Cannarsa, The Examiner
2007-10-18 07:00:00.0
Current rank: Not ranked

Two University of Maryland, Baltimore dental professors learned
there’s no limit to what people will pay for a healthy, shiny smile.

“Your teeth are very important, from a cosmetic standpoint,” said Dr.
Gary Hack, a UMB dental professor. “We’re seeing tremendous growth in
the cosmetic industry.”

Hack and fellow UMB dental professor Dr. Leonard Litkowski hope their
tooth-care invention will take a bite out of the expanding oral health
care industry — a global pie totaling $30 billion in annual revenues.

Hack and Litkowski invented an ingredient for toothpaste and other
dental products — called NovaMin — that relieves tooth sensitivity,
re-mineralizes tooth structure, whitens teeth and enhances overall
tooth health.

NovaMin Technology Inc., based in Alachua, Fla., purchased the
technology and markets dental products with the substance to dental
offices and companies around the world. Worldwide sales of NovaMin
have thus far generated more than $3 million.

“Our view is, this represents a fundamental advance in tooth and oral
care,” said Randy Scott, president and CEO of NovaMin Technology. “Our
expectation is, it will become something people expect in oral and
tooth products.”

Hack and Litkowski began developing the technology 12 years ago, as
Hack researched tooth sensitivity and Litkowski studied bone
regeneration. The two professors collaborated to create NovaMin.

For their research, development and marketing of NovaMin, Hack and
Litkowski were recently named UMB’s Entrepreneurs of the Year.

“A lot of our professors have been encouraged to take their technology
to the market,” Hack said.

The technology has led to 35 patents worldwide, while more than 30
additional patents are pending approval. UMB has received more than
$290,000 from licenses for NovaMin.

“When we first started out, both of us were pretty naive,” Litkowski
said. “It was a lot of research and development, but I don’t think we
had any idea what the business side of it was.”

NovaMin appears to be gaining momentum in international markets,
including Europe and Asia, Hack said. The focus now shifts to bringing
the technology to the United States, in dental offices and eventually
retail outlets, Litkowski said.



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