Scientists Discover teeth Can Be REGROWN With an Alzheimer’s Drug
- Tideglusib, used to treat neurological disorders, could spell the end of fillings
- Man-made fillings can help temporarily close gaps but never restore the tooth
- But the drug helps to create a layer of protective material to help the gap regrow
- This method could also reduce the risk of infections – which fillings are prone to
Just thinking about going to the dentist to have a filling can leave a grown man quaking in fear.
But a new study suggests that those horrific trips could be a thing of the past in the not-so-distant future.
Instead, scientists have discovered another way to fill-in cavities – relying on an Alzheimer’s disease drug.
Man-made fillings from calcium and silicon-based products can help to temporarily close the gap but never completely restore the tooth, experts say.
However, using Tideglusib, previously used to treat neurological disorders, could now offer a natural solution to help cement the gap.
When a cavity is created, stem cells in the body creates a thin layer of material, known as dentine.
This helps to seal in the tooth but does not repair a large cavity effectively – instead preventing it from completely disintegrating.
But the natural defence is insufficient in repairing large cavities, instead forcing dental surgeons to use other methods to treat patients.
However, researchers from Kings College London found the drug helped to stimulate dentine in large enough quantities to fight big holes.
They used biodegradable collagen sponges to deliver the treatment – applying low doses of the drug to the tooth.
After a short while the sponge degraded – being replaced by the newly created dentine. This lead to a complete and natural repair of the tooth.
This method could reduce the risk of infections – of which fillings are prone to, the study published in the journal Scientific Reports suggests.
And the scientists say this could in turn reduce the need for teeth extractions by cutting the risk of bugs.
Study author, Professor Paul Sharpe, said: ‘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.
‘In addition, 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.’
Experts say because the drug has previously been used in clinical trials to treat Alzheimer’s, it could be fast-tracked into practice.