Can Our Teeth Repair Themselves?

Teeth might one day repair themselves using their own stem cells, all but eliminating the need for Newberg dental care patients to receive fillings, reports the results of a new study.

While still in the laboratory stage, a new method tested in mice indicates that a drug called Tideglusib can actually stimulate teeth into self-repairing the effects of tooth decay. Researchers claim that by activating stem cells found in teeth, they can stimulate a limited ability for self-repair. That natural ability to repair is greatly enhanced with the use of Tideglusib, reports researchers from King’s College London.

Restoration from within using only natural material allows for the full structure and vitality of a tooth to be maintained. If proven successful in humans, this method could herald a new era of regenerative dentistry, where new dental treatments use an understanding of the physiology and biology of the tooth to stimulate self-repair.

An Exciting New Era of Dentistry

Breakthroughs in this new field of dentistry are part of a larger overall movement in the field of regenerative endodontics that are designed to find ways of saving teeth naturally. The stems cells used in this latest study are at the forefront of techniques being created to stimulate the living pulp of a tooth into saving the tooth itself. Stem cells are able to perform certain functions of specialized cells.

The soft, inner pulp of a tooth contains delicate nerves and blood vessels. The pulp of a tooth can be easily destroyed when damaged. Once this occurs, patients usually must undergo a root canal to remove the damaged pulp and save the overall structure of a tooth.

However, thanks to the development of new techniques such as this, those types of undesirable treatments for large cavities and root canals may soon become a thing of the past. At this current rate of study, researchers believe that a new wave of regenerative techniques are posed to dramatically change dentistry in the coming years.

Typically, when a tooth is damaged, the body creates a thin layer of dentin to seal the pulp of the tooth away from harmful bacteria in order to prevent the development of an infection. However, the body’s natural defenses aren’t effective enough to repair large cavities. This results in the need for man-made cement fillings to patch the decayed tooth, but the tooth’s natural mineral level is never fully restored.

In many cases, old filings need to be replaced with larger ones as the structure of a decayed tooth continues to fall apart. If this process of patching and decay continues, it may be necessary for the tooth to be removed entirely.

As part of this latest study, researchers placed biodegradable collagen sponges laced with low levels of Tideglusib over holes drilled into the surface of mice teeth. Tideglusib is a small molecule that has also been tested in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Over the next six weeks, as the sponges slowly degraded, they were replaced by new dentine, leading to complete, natural repair of the teeth.

Despite the encouraging results of this initial test, don’t expect this treatment to replace the need for Newberg dental care in the next couple of months. Because the results of this trail were on animals and at a very preliminary stage, the American Dental Association says it is too soon to know whether the treatment will show the same level of success in humans.

Researchers are currently testing this new technique on the much larger teeth of rats, and after that will apply for human testing approval.

The results of this latest study were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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