History of BasicBites foundation
What is a cavity
Saliva Based technology
Michelle Strange: A Tale of Two Hygienists presents this week’s TIPisode: Quick and easy tips to keep you up to date and presented by the experts in the profession. Now, get ready for your unofficial TIPisode, this week brought to you by Basic Bites.
Dr. Brian Rosen: Hello. My name is Dr. Brian Rosen. For the past 37 years, I have been a full-time practicing dentist in Lindberg, New York. Today, I would like to talk to you about an amazing product that will dramatically help your patients.
Many years ago, my hygienists came across a product that contained arginine bicarbonate and calcium carbonate. The product was so amazing that I called up the manufacturer Ortek Therapeutics and wanted to know who was behind the product. I was introduced to the inventor Dr. Israel Kleinberg, who was a founding chairman of the department of oral biology at Stony Brook University’s School of Dental Medicine. Dr Kleinberg is considered the grandfather of oral biology and an expert in saliva chemistry.
Let’s take a step back. What is a cavity? A cavity is an opening in a tooth caused by acid in the mouth that demineralizes tooth enamel.
The human tooth, on average, will demineralize at a pH of 5.5. Where does this acid originate? There are three main sources. Firstly, gastric juices that enter the mouth are very acidic. Patients with GERD can have very high cavity rates. Secondly, what a patient puts into their mouth has profound effect on the pH of the oral cavity. Examples would be many beverages such as sodas, fruit drinks, sport drinks, and ice teas. Many of these drinks have a pH of 3 or less. These acidic beverages can cause irreversible enamel erosion. Thirdly, we are all aware that certain bacteria break down carbohydrates to form acids that, over time, will demineralize enamel and lead to caries.
I was introduced to research that started with the work of Dr. W.D. Miller who was one of the first to identify and describe the acid-decalcification theory of tooth decay.
First, certain oral bacteria metabolize fermentable carbohydrates such as sugars and starches to produce acid, which then demineralizes tooth surface over time. We know fluoride is effective in helping reduce the caries process because it acts directly on the tooth matrix. This effect is accomplished by fluoride decreasing the rate of acid [indiscernible] of the calcium phosphate matrix that constitutes most of the mineral in enamel and cementum and by fluoride favoring remineralization of these tissues.
But, unfortunately, fluoride has its limitations. Fluoride does not act upon oral biofilm on tooth surfaces, and importantly does not inhibit bacterial acid production. Recognizing these issues, Dr. Kleinberg and his team at the dental school developed a saliva-based technology that can simultaneously affect acid production and the enamel remineralization process. This saliva-mimicking technology has been incorporated into a product called Basic Bites.
I cannot do justice to Dr. Kleinberg’s decades of research in just several minutes but will provide the basics, no pun intended, of the amazing alkali-generating, remineralization technology that is behind Basic Bites. He spent decades investigating how mixed oral bacterial communities naturally interact with saliva to help maintain healthy enamel. This led to the concept of plaque being a collection of microbial communities throughout the mouth, each engaged in a common acid-base metabolism.
Dr. Kleinberg identified that certain beneficial bacteria in plaque are able to produce base, or alkali, from substrates, which are provided mostly from saliva. The key substrate in saliva that these beneficial, pH-raising bacteria metabolize to generate alkali is a common amino acid called arginine. These arginolytic bacteria generate alkali in the form of ammonia. The production of base or alkali from arginine metabolism helps inhibit demineralization by neutralizing plaque acids.
Another important way in which saliva exerts its significant supportive activity is by providing minerals such as calcium and bicarbonate that inhibit demineralization and facilitate remineralization in optimal oral pH environment.
These discoveries have provided the basis for designing a blend of key saliva-based nutrients, which consists of arginine bicarbonate and calcium carbonate. These vital nutrients mimic the profound protective benefits of saliva. The team was able to use this technology, which is the basis of the product called Basic Bites.
Basic Bites are delicious, sugar-free soft chews that contain arginine bicarbonate and calcium carbonate. Each chew is just 15 calories each, and unlike toothpaste, they’re designed to adhere to teeth. They can be chewed or used as a meltaway.
For years, I have recommended Basic Bites to my patients, especially to those with dry mouth, to those who suffer from GERD, and to those who like to indulge in low pH foods or drinks or products with excess amounts of sugar.
I strongly recommend them to my senior patients who frequently have a decreased saliva flow. Together, arginine bicarbonate can help maintain the right acid-alkali pH balance on tooth surfaces. Calcium is a mineral found in saliva, and as we all know, is very important for remineralization.
A healthy, neutral, or elevated oral pH environment creates conditions that favor mineral repair instead of demineralization. Simply put, Basic Bites nourishes the beneficial alkali-generating bacteria and creates a natural hostile environment for acid-producing bacteria while supporting remineralization. Besides all these amazing scientific attributes, Basic Bites are fun and a very delicious oral product to recommend to your patients as part of their daily oral care regimen.
Thank you for listening today. For more information on Basic Bites, please visit basicbites.com. Thank you.
Michelle Strange: Thanks for listening to another TIPisode, and thank you to Basic Bites for sponsoring this week’s episode. You can find more about their great products at basicbites.com, and professionals can go to basicbites.com/professional. And don’t forget to hit the “subscribe” button in your podcast app, follow us on Facebook or Instagram, and head over to our website, ataleoftwohygienists.com, to sign up for our newsletter. We always appreciate ratings and reviews. Thanks for listening to your unofficial dental hygiene podcast.