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Scientists find way to regrow decayed teeth

Posted on Monday, 9 January, 2017 | Comment icon 20 comments

The new discovery could revolutionize the treatment of cavities. Image Credit: US Navy
Fillings could soon become a thing of the past thanks to a drug that can regrow and repair cavities.
While our teeth are already capable of regenerating new dentine if the pulp becomes exposed due to physical damage or infection, the amount produced is typically very small, making it insufficient to fill the large cavities caused by tooth decay and other common dental problems.

Now though, researchers at King's College London have discovered that an existing Alzheimer's drug called Tideglusib is capable of stimulating the stem cells within the pulp in to producing more dentine by switching off the enzyme GSK-3 which stops it from forming.

The scientists even succeeded in demonstrating this technique by soaking a biodegradable sponge in the drug and inserting it in to the tooth cavity of a volunteer patient.

After about six weeks the sponge had disintegrated and the cavity had completely filled in.

"The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product for the natural treatment of large cavities, by providing both pulp protection and restoring dentine," said Professor Paul Sharpe.

"In addition, using a drug that has already been tested in clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease provides a real opportunity to get this dental treatment quickly into clinics."

Source: Telegraph | Comments (20)

Tags: Dentist, Teeth, Fillings

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #11 Posted by Thorvir on 9 January, 2017, 19:12
Comment icon #12 Posted by Ashotep on 9 January, 2017, 20:55
I looked it up, more expensive than I even thought.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Thorvir on 9 January, 2017, 20:57
Comment icon #14 Posted by CrimsonKing on 9 January, 2017, 21:27
The cost of dental work is insane! According to several of my older family members my great great grandmother actually grew a set of teeth in her 90's!  As ridiculous as that sounds they all swore it was the truth,even moreso when my grandfather said it i really believed it he wasn't much of a jokester... I lucked up with a nice set and take care of them but teeth are kinda fragile. Anyone got time to wait till their 90's to see what happens? 
Comment icon #15 Posted by RabidMongoose on 9 January, 2017, 21:35 At the bottom it lists GSK-3 inhibitors. A copper cation is a positive charged copper molecule. Copper is an essential nutrient. Copper supplement stuck in your tooth cavity anyone?
Comment icon #16 Posted by Why not on 9 January, 2017, 23:27
I need to look into dental schooling for my kid. Looks like that's where the money is now adays.
Comment icon #17 Posted by ChgoDoc on 10 January, 2017, 6:39
There is still a problem, even if the dentin core can be regrown. Dentin is pretty soft compared to the enamel shell that we see as teeth. So, the dentist would have to restore the surface of the new dentin (assuming it CAN be regrown sufficiently), but at least, that may be done without the need for numbing, since the filling should be far enough away from the nerve. Also, any  old fillings would likely have to be removed before the medicine could be placed. Overall, a good idea to develop, but would not eliminate the dentist's job, just make visits easier.  
Comment icon #18 Posted by brlesq1 on 10 January, 2017, 9:55
Yep. I just had one tooth, and it would have made a hefty down payment. And for reasons I won't go into here (but yes, I take care of my teeth), I have cavities every time I go to the dentist. So this would be doubly welcome for me.
Comment icon #19 Posted by jps on 13 January, 2017, 9:22
My dad used to say that if a faith healer was able to fix someones teeth, then he would believe in miracles. Seems science is going to beat them to it.
Comment icon #20 Posted by KNash on 15 January, 2017, 20:03
As someone who's cavity prone, I'm very excited!

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