Oct 7, 2011
Bye Bye Tooth Fairy
Last year, a group of French scientists discovered a tooth treatment that would stimulate regrowth of a natural tooth, obviating the need to drill and fill cavities in the tooth. The treatment is a gel made from a natural chemical in our bodies, that had recently been found to be an important contributor to bone regeneration - melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) - and it had proven effective at tooth regrowth in mice that had cavities. Now, British researchers at the University of Leeds report creating yet another kind of gel to enable tooth regrowth....
The British 'magic fluid' was developed in the Leeds' School of Chemistry. The fluid contains a peptide called P 11-4 that has the capacity to develop into fibers. Under the right conditions, including when the fluid is applied to a tooth, it is drawn into the areas of the tooth that have decayed, establishing scaffolds that attract calcium, thereby, regenerating the tooth's mineral growth from within.
Out of the lab and into the dental chair, a small group of humans with initial signs of tooth decay got to sample the 'magic fluid,' and it was successful at reversing the destiny of their teeth - without drilling and filling!
"The results of our tests so far are extremely promising," said Professor Paul Brunton, who is overseeing the patient testing at the University of Leeds Dental Institute. "If these results can be repeated on a larger patient group, then I have no doubt whatsoever that in two to three years time this technique will be available for dentists to use in their daily practice."
Perhaps the French and the British are not the only countries competing in this potentially lucrative arena, but a Swiss company has been developed to commercialize the Leeds' magic liquid: "a novel enamel/dentin remineralization system which will revolutionize the treatment of small caries lesions and related illnesses and needs, providing dentists with an efficient tool in tooth remineralization and helping patients to protect and regenerate their teeth."