There’s a new brand of toothpaste being developed, and it may change the dental care world as we know it. Chances are, you’re still using the same brand of toothpaste that you grew up with. And while several varieties of the good old stuff have hit the shelves, the effectiveness hasn’t changed all that much over time. According to a recent CBS News story, that may change relatively soon. The new brand, Livionex, isn’t actually a toothpaste, claims founder and CEO Arnit Goswamy. Instead, he refers to it as a dental gel, stating that it is twice as effective as traditional toothpaste, a product that consumers spend $1.8 billion on annually. While millions of Americans pick it up regularly, implying that they actually use it often, still 90% of adults have some form or gingivitis, and 47% suffer from gum disease. Goswamy stated that “it’s not a bad product, but it has a lot of room for improvement,” when discussing current pastes on the market. “We said, ‘If we can make a dent in this, not only will this be a good business, but we will have done something good,’” he continued. And they believe they’ve done just that.
Regular toothpaste uses abrasives and detergents to remove oral disease causing plaque that adheres to the surface of your teeth. Livionex claims that their product actually breaks the molecular bond between the plaque sticking to the tooth, causing it to “just fall off,” Goswamy said. In order to prove his claim, Goswamy commissioned a clinical trial at the University of California Irvine. There, a three-week study was conducted, comparing Livionex to popular Colgate Total, and the findings were quite surprising. The data showed that the subjects who used Livionex had 2.5 times less plaque and their gums were more than twice as healthy as their Colgate using counterparts. “But also the structure of the plaque was quite different,” said Petra Wilder-Smith, director of dentistry at the university’s Beckman Laser Institute. “The did not seem to be bound onto the teeth in the same way as we normally see in dental plaque.” In as little as four hours, those using Livionex had less bacteria and less of the sticky substance that binds the bacteria to their teeth when compared to regular toothpaste users.
While intial trials of the new product seem very promising, The American Dental Association warns that caution should be used when reviewing the study. “Livionex research appears to be in the early stages, and claims of effectiveness against plaque and gingivitis are premature,” a spokesperson for the association stated. It should also be noted that the product will not be nearly as inexpensive as traditional toothpaste, running approximately $20 for 1.7 ounces. But Goswamy was quick to point out that cavities and root canals aren’t inexpensive either. “$20 is expensive, but if you’re investing in your oral health, it pays back many times over,” he said.