Products & Solutions

Silica for sensitive teeth

More and more people these days suffer with sensitive teeth. To provide relief, toothpaste manufacturers are increasingly relying on special silica from Evonik.

Whether its ice-cream or hot coffee: For many people, these pleasures are associated with pain. According to the American Dental Association, almost half the population suffers with sensitive teeth and gums. For these people, eating, drinking, and even cleaning their teeth is frequently a painful activity. Silica in toothpaste can help to combat what triggers this pain. For this purpose, Evonik’s Silica business line has developed SPHERILEX® 148, a naturally derived mineral product.

Putting a stop to pain

If you want to know why silica is increasingly being used as an ingredient in toothpaste for sensitive teeth, you need to understand how the pain arises: During our lifetimes, our gums recede due to exposure to acidic beverages, teeth grinding, or simply as a result of the aging process. Where gums have receded and no longer offer protection, the dentin is exposed. Without the protection of the gums, fluid is passed through the dentin tubules; these are small channels in the dentin that connect the surface of the tooth with the nerves in the tooth pulp tissue. When these fluids flow through the open dentin tubules, it allows external stimuli such as cold or acids to reach the nerves in the tooth, which can cause pain sensation. It is possible to close these dentin tubules using special silica in toothpaste. SPHERILEX® 148 from Evonik is particularly suited for this task due to its spherical shape and precisely controlled smaller particle size.

Safe and high-quality products

Evonik manufactures the silica products for oral care according to the strictest safety and quality standards. All SPHERILEX® products for oral care applications meet the bio-based raw materials requirements of the cosmetics standard COSMOS (COSMetic Organic and Natural Standard). The criteria for the COSMOS standard include the use of organic ingredients, and production and manufacturing processes that are environmentally friendly and safe for human health.

Leading manufacturers of silica

Evonik is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of silica. In addition to the fumed silica AEROSIL®, and the precipitated silica ULTRASIL®, SIPERNAT®, ZEODENT® and SPHERILEX®, Evonik also produces silica-based matting agents under the brand name ACEMATT® and other fumed metal oxides under the brand name AEROXIDE®. Overall, Evonik has a global production capacity for all silica-based products of approximately one million metric tons/year.

Sand, or crystalline silicone dioxide (SiO2), is the raw material for fumed and precipitated silica. Fumed silica is created using a flame procedure. Chlorosilane is combusted in a hydrogen/oxygen flame at 1,000°C. In contrast, precipitated silica is produced using a wet process. Here, water glass, that is, sodium, potassium and lithium silicate is added, drop by drop, to sulfuric acid. The SPHERILEX® 148 used in toothpaste, for example, is precipitated silica.