Go further: tailor-made ingredients for functional toothpaste applications

The variety of toothpaste product options now on the market is enormous. But if we take a closer look, there is one ingredient in particular that has a broad range of functionalities and is backed by years of research and innovation: the natural mineral calcium carbonate.

Over millions of years, the shells and skeletons of marine organisms have been converted into the high purity, naturally white calcium carbonates that are now found in chalk, limestone and marble. Today, these rich natural resources form the basis of a versatile ingredients portfolio that complies with the most stringent regulatory and quality standards. With more than 130 years of expertise, Omya, a leading global producer and worldwide distributor, has implemented highly sophisticated processes to develop multifunctional ingredients that are organic as well as sustainable.

A multifunctional ingredient

Natural calcium carbonate (NCC) marketed under the brand name Omyacare really is unique in fulfilling several requirements at the same time. During production, Omya is able to control features such as surface area, porosity and particle shape and size in order to achieve a broad spectrum of NCC types with a variety of different properties. Primarily, the size of the particles defines the grade of abrasion.

Expressed as RDA (Radioactive Dentine Abrasion), it is possible to develop toothpaste formulations that offer low (60 RDA), medium (90 RDA) or high (110 RDA) abrasion. The more sensitive the teeth, the gentler the cleaning should be and the lower the abrasion. Additionally, different mixtures of NCC particle types and sizes can be used to adjust texture, viscosity and mouthfeel – concentrations of between 10 and 45 per cent are recommended.

The brightness and opacity of the natural Omyacare minerals mean that they can intensify white or coloured formulations, and their chemical pureness and low microbiology is an advantage in fluorised toothpastes too. Here, their high purity reduces interactions between trace elements and active ingredients to a minimum, so when using sodium monofluorophosphate, for example, the fluoride in the toothpaste remains available to remineralise the tooth enamel.

Ideal for sophisticated tasks: Omyadent Functional Calcium Carbonates (FCCs)

Dental hypersensitivity is a growing concern for many people. Caused by factors such as excessive brushing, dental bleaching and acid erosion, it is estimated that up to 35 per cent of all adults are affected by this problem.

Indeed, the aching caused by the stimuli of cold, hot, sweet or sour is significant for those with sensitive teeth and an exposed dentine layer. However, relief can be achieved with toothpastes that are formulated specifically for desensitisation. Alternatively, another approach to fighting sensitive teeth is to block the tubules within the teeth, but not close them completely. In this way, sensitivity can be reduced while essential nutrient transport is still possible and the conditions inside the fluid-filled tubules remain as nature intended.


Thanks to the particle size and porosity of Omyadent, the product is able to seal but not to block the tubules, helping to build a barrier that is more resistant to the external aggressors on the surface of the teeth.

Omyadent is also a good remineralisation agent, and is able to recover the natural white appearance and smooth surface of teeth enamel. Hydroxyapatite is the main constituent of natural tooth enamel and dentine, and advanced FCC particles consisting of a core of calcium carbonate and a shell of hydroxyapatite are key here. They offer a large, porous surface area that is highly reactive and therefore effective in ensuring excellent remineralisation.

Microscopic defects are repaired and the tooth enamel is strengthened, becoming thicker and preventing the yellowish dentine underneath from showing. This results in a whiter, smoother, cleaner tooth surface that attracts less dirt and upon which less plaque is formed.

Adrian Jäger is Business Development Manager at Omya International AG

Visit Omya at the SEPAWA Congress 2016, 12th to 14th October in Fulda, Germany, booth 114.

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