10 Jan The End of Fillings? Scientists discover drug that regrows teeth
For those of you who absolutely hate having to get dental fillings in Gilbert, there may be good news on the horizon. While the staff at Lifetime Family Dental do everything in our power to make your dental appointments gentle and comfortable, a less invasive way of restoring your teeth may help in that regard even further. Scientists have found that a drug already being tested for Alzheimer’s patients can stimulate tooth regrowth and may lead to a new method of repairing cavities.
The drug is named Tideglusib, and according to researchers at King’s College London, it stimulates stem cells found in the pulp of the teeth causing the creation of new dentine. Dentine is the mineralised material found underneath the enamel. While teeth naturally already have this ability to regenerate dentine, they can only generate a thin layer–not enough to fill the entire cavity caused by tooth decay.
The way that Tideglusib circumvents or improves this process is by switching off an enzyme that prevents dentine from forming. After doing so, scientists have soaked a miniature biodegradable sponge with the dug and inserted it into a cavity. It then triggers the dentine grown and mends the damage in under 6 weeks! The sponges dissolve and only the repaired tooth remains.
According to Dr. Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, “This is an extremely interesting and novel approach which shows great promise and we will look forward to it being translated into clinical application”. The fact that this drug has already performed in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s means that it may move more quickly into the dental office near you. The procedure has only been tested in animals at this point, but in those trials have demonstrated the drug can ‘fill the whole injury site’.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/10/2017)