Science of Periogen
Dental calculus or tartar is an adherent calcified mass that forms on the surface of teeth and dental appliance through mineralization of bacterial dental plaque in an aqueous environment. It is composed of calcium phosphate salt and is layered by non-mineralized bacterial plaque; hence acts as a reservoir of microorganisms in the oral cavity with studies revealing the presence of calculus in 70-100% of the cases. These studies do not discriminate between supra and subgingival calculus, but they indicate high prevalence of calculus in all studied populations.
Calculus consists of mineralized dental plaque that forms on the surface of natural teeth and dental prostheses. Dental calculus is formed through the process of calcification of dental plaque, with hydroxyapatite, whitlockite and octo-calcium phosphate commonly present in mature calculus. The rate of calculus formation varies from person to person and can be increased by such factors as lowered salivary pH, concentration of free salivary calcium, urea, bacterial proteins or lipids.
Dental calculus is composed of inorganic components and organic matrix. Supragingival and subgingival calculus contain 37% and 58% mineral content by volume; respectively. The matrix of supragingival calculus constitutes 15.7% of the calculus dry weight and contains 54.9% protein and 10.2% lipid. Calculus is mineralized dental plaque and mineralization can only occur if the fluid phase of plaque is supersaturated with the components of calculus. Saliva and plaque fluid are normally supersaturated with respect to various calcium phosphates, except when fermentable carbohydrates are being consumed, and thus most people are susceptible to calculus deposition, albeit at different rates. Although much research has been carried out to determine possible mechanisms for formation and methods for inhibiting the process, no complete correlations exist. The formation, development, and dissolution of hard deposits such as calculus are complex processes that involve numerous calcium phosphate phases as well as the interaction of these ions with organic molecules.
How Periogen Works
Long term oral hygiene including prevention of new calculus formation is always a key target for maintaining optimal periodontal health. Professional bi-annually oral prophylaxis plays a vital role in reducing the oral bio burden by removing plaque, calculus and stains from the oral cavity. However; maintaining home dental oral hygiene especially between six-month professional oral prophylaxis is very critical. There was lot of research support for traditional alcohol based oral rinse in terms of plaque control but no significant data supporting its effectiveness on anti-calculus effects. Periogen with key ingredient of Tetrapotassium Pyrophosphate and Sodium Tripolyphosphate, clinically proved to be a potent oral rinse for suppressing the new plaque formation, gingival inflammation and new calculus formation without any noticeable side effects.
Periogen is available in both a fluoride and non-fluoride version. The non-fluoride product relies on the fluoride in the water used to create the rinse solution when mixed with the powdered concentrate (*All natural water sources contain some fluoride (CDC.gov)).
Periogen works through the interaction of 5 ingredients: tetrapotassium pyrophosphate, sodium tripolyphosphate, baking soda, citric acid and a small amount of fluoride. When added to water, ingredients baking soda and citric acid add fizz in order to draw the active tartar-dissolving ingredients into solution at ambient temperatures and to establish a healthy 7.6 pH. A healthy oral pH is critical to calculus “prevention and reduction” as acidic oral environments can build calculus.
Tetrapotassium pyrophosphate is a colorless transparent crystalline chemical compound with the formula Na4P2O7. It is a salt composed of pyrophosphate and sodium ions. It is the "tartar control" agent which removes calcium and magnesium from saliva so they cannot deposit on the teeth. It has been shown that pyrophosphates has a high affinity to hydroxyapatite (HA) surfaces most likely through an interaction with Ca2+ in the hydration layer. By interacting with HA and enamel surface, the pyrophosphate reduces their protein binding capacity. It also has the ability to inhibit calcium phosphate formation. Pyrophosphates introduced into the oral cavity through
dentifrices affect pellicle formation. Also, tetrapotassium pyrophosphate inhibits the mineralization of biofilm before it is transferred into supragingival calculus.
Sodium tripolyphosphate is an inorganic compound with formula Na5P3O10. It is a mineral based ingredient that binds the calcium present in saliva and reduces the formation of tartar on the tooth surface.
Sodium Fluoride in a 7.6 pH balanced mouthwash along with Tetrapotassium pyrophosphate and Sodium tripolyphosphate acts as a catalyst to assist in the softening and removing of a thin layer of calculus.
Thus, the Tetrapotassium pyrophosphate and Sodium tripolyphosphate oral rinse combination results in a reduction of tartar formation as a result of reduced calcification of dental plaque and softening and dissolution of existing calculus.