Gaba sponsors International Oral Care Symposium 50 Years of Amine Fluoride Therwil, Switzerland, May 27, 2013

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GABA Sponsors International Oral Care Symposium

50 Years of Amine Fluoride

Therwil, Switzerland, May 27, 2013: More than 150 European dental experts gathered in Basel recently to take part in a landmark symposium, called specifically to celebrate a
half-century of amine fluoride and the role it has played in improving oral health. So large a salute for such a tiny compound is not difficult to understand, given the major dental health improvements that have been recorded in Europe since products containing amine fluoride were first introduced to consumers by the symposium’s sponsor, the branded oral care product company, GABA.

The medical faculty of the University of Basel hosted the event, less than 10 kilometres from GABA’s Swiss headquarters in Therwil – the home of elmex®. The formal part of the programme began with a re-telling of events leading to the historic meeting in 1950s Geneva between two dynamic Swiss men of science: Hans Mühlemann, a professor of dentistry in Zurich, responsible for the development of amine fluoride, and Hans Schmid, then Head of Research and Development at GABA. Years of painstaking safety, toxicity and efficacy studies finally led to the launch in 1963 of elmex® toothpaste – the world’s first-ever commercially available product to contain amine fluoride.

Under the skilful chairmanship of Hans Mühlemann’s eventual successor,
Prof. Dr. Thomas Attin, the next group of speakers at the GABA-sponsored Symposium drew on recent advances in both dentistry and materials science to show how fluorides, and amine fluoride in particular, help combat tooth damage at the molecular level. In a total of nine scientific presentations delivered during the Symposium’s tight schedule, delegates were reminded of one successful study after another – either building the evidence-based case for fluorides, or documenting the year-on-year reduction in disease prevalence in Europe. And all courtesy of the rapid uptake by consumers of amine fluoride-containing products such as elmex® and meridol®.

The Symposium’s guests of honour were Professor Dr. Thomas M. Marthaler and Professor Dr. Klaus König, two tireless dental experts who have worked in close cooperation with GABA over the years, arguably dedicating more time than any other academic or clinician worldwide in their quest to unlock the secrets of amine fluoride and develop its application in oral health.

Baerbel Kiene, Director of Scientific Affairs at GABA International/Colgate Europe said,

Despite clear records showing that dental caries has affected humans throughout their entire history, the condition remains the most prevalent chronic condition for mankind worldwide. Little wonder that even in living memory, the failure of the hard tissues in tooth material has been seen by many as the inevitable start of the ageing process. We are proud of the role that GABA has played in helping to overturn these attitudes by recognising the potential of amine fluoride in dental formulations and making them available to millions of consumers across Europe.

Armed with a comprehensive review of advances over the past 50 years, the final plenary session delicately turned delegates’ attention in the direction of what further improvements the next half century might hold.

GABA has launched a dedicated website, providing up-to-date information about the Symposium:

Contacts for further information:

André Büssers


Berner Weg 7

79539 Lörrach, Germany

Email: andre_buessers

Andrew Craven

GABA International


CH 4106 Therwil, Switzerland


About dental caries

Microorganisms are present in everyone’s mouth and feed off available carbohydrates – particularly sugars. The bacteria form acids from these sugars that attack tooth enamel. This initially produces a patch of decalcification (chalk fleck / initial lesion) beneath the still-intact enamel surface. Untreated progression of these attacks eventually produces a breach, or hole, in the enamel surface. A cavity is the result.

About amine fluoride

Amine fluoride is the name used to describe a family of organic fluoride compounds, especially developed for their effectiveness in mineralising teeth and optimising their ability to resist the formation of caries. More than 500 scientific studies have confirmed the efficacy of amine fluorides. Their special chemical structure (surface-active, wetting agents) enables them to accumulate quickly and effectively on tooth surfaces to promote the formation of a fluoride-containing layer that protects teeth from acid attack. At the same time, saliva – together with the amine fluoride – can reach the narrow interdental spaces and pits of molar teeth more easily, i.e. inaccessible sites where caries are particularly likely to start.

About Colgate-Palmolive/GABA

A member of the Colgate-Palmolive group of companies, GABA is a European manufacturer of innovative, branded oral care products which include elmex and meridol. With strong partnerships with the dental profession and with oral care associations the company is committed to delivering high performance oral health systems based on unique active ingredients for healthy teeth and gums.

About the University of Zurich Dental Centre

The ZZM is one of four university dental centres in Switzerland and one of the world’s leading institutions specialising in dental training and research. Committed to the highest standards of dental training, research safety and patient care, the Dental Centre’s declared focus is the conservation and restoration of a high quality of life for all its patients.

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