Scientists has made a remarkable discover of a drug that can help a damaged teeth regenerate from the inside out, hence reducing the need for artificial refilling.
The drug marked for clinical dental product for natural treatment of large cavities, was previously tested for Alzheimer. But researchers discovered it improve the tooth’s natural ability to heal itself.
How Tideglusib Works on Damaged Teeth
When applied, the drug (Tideglusib) will activate the cells inside the tooth’s pulp centre prompting the damaged area to regenerate the hard dentin material that makes up the majority of a tooth. According to the lead author Paul Sharpe, it will act as both pulp protection and restoring dentine.
“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.”
After a tooth is damaged by things like trauma or cavities, the soft pulp at its centre can be exposed, increasing the risk of infection. Therefore to prevent this, our bodies create a thin layer of dentine – the hard, calcified tissue that makes up the bulk of a tooth – which helps block outside material from making its way inside.
But this process is not enough to stop large cavities from exposing the vulnerable pulp, which is why dentists drill out the cavity, and then pack the area with artificial fillings – a treatment that worked in the past, but isn’t ideal.
Mr. Sharp clarified this when he said, “the tooth is not just a lump of mineral, it’s got its own physiology. You’re replacing a living tissue with an inert cement.
“Fillings work fine, but if the tooth can repair itself, surely [that’s] the best way. You’re restoring all the vitality of the tooth.”
Sharpe and his team of researchers discovered they could use the Alzheimer’s drug, Tideglusib to stimulate the stem cells inside a tooth to create more dentin than usual, regenerating the whole structure without needing to add any foreign substance at all. In other words, no fillings.
The researchers experimented with a mouse and they applied Tideglusib on damaged teeth in mice to observe how it can promote stem cell activation. They soak a biodegradable collagen sponge with Tideglusib molecules and applied it to the cavity.
After several weeks, the team saw that the collagen sponge had degraded, and the teeth had regenerated enough dentin to fill the gap. Reports show that the process itself is very similar to a normal cavity filling, but instead of putting in an artificial filler, doctors are encouraging the growth of natural dentine, leading to healthier teeth in the long run.
Although the test has only been conducted on animals – mice, scientists are optimistic about its efficacy and are determined to make oral care less horrible in the future.
Meanwhile, UK had announced in 2015 that they’re developing a ‘pulp cap’ that can be inserted in a tooth to stimulate stem cells and trigger similar dentin growth. While another 2015 study from Australian researchers had discovered that tooth decay could be reversed with a high-concentration fluoride varnish before cavities form.