Remember all the days you visited your dentist and discovered you have to lose a tooth because of tooth decay?
All these years we have turned to dental fillings to repair dental cavities and fix tooth decay. But when these fillings have failed us, we all know we’d end up in the same horrific path—tooth extraction.
Thankfully, it seems like a recent discovery might end our toothless nightmares as an Alzheimer’s drug can help regrow teeth and fix cavities, according to a study.
The drug called “Tideglusib” was developed for and trialled to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at King’s College London found out that the drug also promotes natural tooth regrowth mechanism by stimulating stem cells in the pulp of teeth, generating new dentine—the mineralized substance under the enamel that gets eaten away by decay.
Our teeth have the natural ability to regenerate dentine if the pulp is exposed to infection or trauma but can only regrow a very thin layer, not enough to fill deep cavities caused by tooth decay. Tideglusib, however, makes dentine growth possible by switching off “GSK-3”—an enzyme which prevents dentine from growing or forming.
In the study, researchers inserted tiny biodegradable sponges soaked in Tideglusib into the cavity. The sponges made out of collagen melted away over time, triggered the growth of dentine and repaired the damage within six weeks.
Professor Paul Sharpe, lead author of the study told an international publication: “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.”
This may be the future that will keep cavities away and the tooth fairy from collecting our teeth. We are so here for it!