Picture the scene: two minutes to go until your next video call and you’re stripping off the oversized hoodie, buttoning up your work shirt, flattening down your ‘bed head’, maybe reaching for the lip gloss, but, DEFINITELY, checking for that pesky poppy seed/salad leaf/cake crumb/tomato pip* (*delete as appropriate) stuck in your teeth!
Our smiles matter to us and the thought of merrily chatting away with a lump of spinach as the main attraction is a tiny bit mortifying.
Good oral hygiene not only prevents moments of mild embarrassment like this, but it can help us flash our best possible smile! Multi-tasking toothpastes that remove stains, prevent tartar, tackle inflammation and maintain healthy gums, mouthwashes that kill bacteria and freshen breath and preparations to ease dry-mouth all play their part. And according to FactMR, the global oral hygiene market will exceed $70 billion by 2031 driven by increasing awareness around preventative measures such as a good cleaning regimen. Macro trends such as environmental concerns around plastic waste and water usage coupled with new technologies such as AI-enabled toothbrushes to monitor your cleaning technique are also driving innovation with new product formats such as toothpaste tablets, bamboo toothbrushes and effective products with the fewest ingredients possible.There are also the devices we use in the mouth like braces and dentures and the associated products we use to secure them in place or stop them rubbing our gums.
All these products and materials come into direct contact with our mouth and gums – the oral mucosa – and all of them need to be assessed for safety and compatibility.
Skin in the mouth is very different to that on the outside of our bodies and even within the oral cavity the tissues differ; tongue, gums and cheek skin. That’s why it is important to choose the right tissue model when evaluating your products and ingredients. XCellR8 use human-derived buccal and gingival cells that have been cultured to form a highly differentiated 3D models of human oral tissue. Finished products or ingredients are applied directly to the tissue surface, providing a good model of “real life” exposure. Results can rank materials in order of irritation potential for a series of products or ingredients. As well as irritancy, histological changes and cytokine expression may be assessed using the system. Additionally, inflammation may be induced within the test system using pro-inflammatory cytokines to investigate the protective or anti-inflammatory actions of test items.