While dentistry has certainly improved in the last hundred years, the one thing we haven’t accomplished is the ability to promote new growth. Once a tooth is damaged, it can only be repaired or removed. However, recent news concerning the side effects of a drug designed to treat Alzheimer’s has caught our attention. Is it really possible to grow new tooth material?
No More Fillings?
When we have tooth decay, cavities form in our teeth. The usual remedy is drilling and filling because, although our teeth are alive, they can’t heal themselves like skin and bone. However, according to the research from of King’s College London, the unnamed drug which has been studied for its ability to stimulate stem cells has proved itself useful in more ways than one.
Applied topically to the tooth in the form of medicated sponges, the therapy stimulates stem cells in the teeth and promotes new growth. This leads to the production of natural dentin, the calcified layer beneath the tooth enamel that protects the nerves and middle of the tooth.
As providers of general dentistry in Leicester will tell you, our teeth already naturally produce dentin during the life of the tooth. However, the amount made is usually very small. By promoting accelerated production, cavities large and small can effectively be healed, removing the need to drill out the decay and add a filling.
Not a Magic Pill
But before you throw away your toothbrush it’s important to know that fixing cavities is not the only work dentists such as those at http://www.sjrdental.co.uk/ do. Good dental health means a healthy mouth too. Regular brushing and flossing and avoiding sweet drinks and sugary snacks is important for the overall health of your mouth, teeth and gums.
The good news is the drug is closer to your dentist’s chair than it sounds. With so many of these new therapies, the wait for government approval can be long and arduous. However, this new drug has already been approved for its original application, the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and is deemed safe and reliable.
Does this mean an end to the dreaded whirl of the dentist’s drill? At least for cavities that could be healed with dentin, the answer appears to be yes.