Nobody likes a toothache! Even a slight toothache can make us go running to our dentist. But what if there was a way all this could go away without even making holes in your teeth? What if teeth could repair themselves?
Well, as fictional as it sounds, researchers from King’s College in London have actually developed a way that would make you say goodbye to all your tooth-related problems.
As the process goes, a thin layer of a substance called ‘dentine‘ is naturally produced in the tooth cavity that protects the soft pulp from infection following a trauma. However, this layer is not enough and so the dentists seal the pulp with tooth cement or fillings. While this prevents the tooth from infection, it also prohibits the mineral level in the tooth to reach its normal level.
But the team from the King’s college has developed a new method of stimulating the renewal of stem cells in tooth pulp using an Alzheimer’s drug called ‘Tideglusib‘. The method involves biodegradable collagen sponges be used to deliver low doses of a small molecule glycogen synthase kinase (GSK-3) inhibitors to the tooth. While the sponge degrades over the time, the affected area is replaced with dentine, leading to complete and natural repair of the tooth.
The drug has already been used in clinical trials to treat Alzheimer’s disease and could empower the teeth to naturally repair themselves while restoring the mineral balance and removing the need to fill the affected area with cement or filling repeatedly.