Can You Regrow Your Teeth? Not Quite Yet, but Maybe One Day!
Do you dread the whir of the dentist’s drill? This news might be music to your ears: there’s now a drug that could help teeth repair themselves—which just might mean that we’re one step closer to healing cavities without a filling.
This drug discovery was recently featured in Futurism, and it just might change the way we think about our teeth.
Sometimes unexpected side effects are a good thing
During a study of a new medication for Alzheimer’s disease called Tideglusib (not a typo), which stimulates stem cell growth, researchers found that it had an interesting side effect: it could also help your teeth manufacture new dentine, the primary building block of healthy teeth.
While your tooth pulp already makes a little extra dentine when it gets a cavity or other injury, an enzyme called GSK-3 shuts down production before your teeth can naturally repair themselves adequately. Tideglusib turns this enzyme off—in theory, we might some day be able to use it to keep dentine manufacturing at full capacity longer, until a cavity is fully healed.
To test the impact of the drug on tooth decay, researchers conducted a study to see how well Tideglusib triggers tooth pulp growth by inserting sponges made of collagen soaked in Tideglusib into large cavities. Within six weeks, the subjects experienced dentine growth and the damage was repaired.
The prospect of regrowing teeth is exciting, but I’m keeping my day job
So far, Tideglusib treatment to regrow teeth has only been tested on mice in a clinical setting, and it’s still in early stages of trial. However, innovation like this is great to see—it shows that we have come a long way in dental medicine in recent years, and that the future’s looking bright.
Even without a wonder-drug like this, the options we have today for repairing missing or decaying teeth are better than ever. For instance, with our Atlanta dental implants, we can replace missing teeth in a quick, in-office procedure, and restore a healthy smile that same day. If your teeth need attention, get in touch. I’ll be happy to help you find the right solution so you can enjoy a bright smile.