Can damaged teeth regrow naturally? According to scientists, the answer is yes. Our teeth are made up of many layers, the outermost one being the enamel. It is preceded by a layer known as the dentin. The dentin has the ability to regenerate, a factor which has led to the possibility of the regrowth of damaged teeth.
Ritely informed us that a recent study by King’s College London found that teeth can naturally be regrown with the help of an Alzheimer’s drug known as Tideglusib. This is not to say that without the drug regrowth would not take place. Instead, the drug works as some sort of catalyst. It speeds up the process of regrowth which would otherwise take really long (we’re talking about years here!)
The drug works by stimulating one’s stem cells and the end result is that new layers of dentin come up. In the study carried out by the scientists, the drug managed to regrow teeth damaged as a result of trauma, cavities, and even tooth decay.
DOES THIS MEAN I CAN SAY GOODBYE TO ORAL HYGIENE?
While you may think that this is an easy pass for you to stop taking care of your teeth, one must know tooth hygiene is absolutely important. The downside of the study was that the discovery of the drug’s new use would encourage poor oral hygiene.
Teeth are the only organs which exist on the outside of our bodies and transit back into the inside. The presence of a thin integumentary tissue allows the transition to occur. This may be quite unfavorable to the human body as it means you are vulnerable to microbial invasion. However, your teeth are already well protected by your immune system so chances of a microbial invasion are low. Still, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Oral hygiene would go a long way in ensuring you don’t even get the regrowth drug in the first place. This, of course, is with the exception of unavoidable tooth damage such as trauma as a result of an accident.
HOW THE ALZHEIMER’S DRUG CAN HELP REGROW YOUR TEETH
The Alzheimer’s drug known as Tideglusib works by shutting down an enzyme known as GSK-3. This enzyme is responsible for the regulation of various cellular actions such as those influencing dentin generation and Alzheimer’s.
Once the enzyme is shut down, the signals which are responsible for telling your teeth to stop the creation of dentin are barred. This means that your teeth will now continue to naturally and freely regenerate the dentin. Once your tooth has fully regenerated, it is recommended that you stop with the medication.
In the study carried out, a small biodegradable sponge was soaked with Tideglusib and afterward inserted into a cavity. After 6 weeks, it was found that there was a regrowth of dentin which was significant enough to regenerate damaged teeth.
The sponges used in the said study were all made of collagen and so no harm was brought to the patients in relation to that. They eventually broke down in the mouth and left behind nothing but a repaired tooth. According to the lead researcher, Professor Paul Sharp, the simplicity of their approach made the drug an ideal treatment for cavities. This natural treatment worked by mainly providing pulp protection all while restoring one’s dentin.
WHY DENTAL FILLINGS ISN’T THE BEST SOLUTION FOR CAVITIES
Fillings are basically silicon, cement or calcium-based compounds. The main complication that arises out of fillings is that with time, these composites lose their integrity. When the fillings are first put in place, they require a special bonding and it is this bonding which degrades as time goes by. If bad comes to worse, it will allow leakage and this might be quite painful to the patient.
From the above statement, it is clear that fillings require regular replacement. This may also cause a strain on your finances as dental visits are quite costly depending on the procedure you’re getting. Furthermore, the more you replace a filling, the closer you get to your dental pulp. This puts your tooth at a risk and you may need to have a root canal and eventually lose the whole tooth.
Fillings are also prone to bacterial infection. Once your filled area gets infected, a larger hole would have to be drilled and refilled again. The more infections you have, the more likely the entire tooth will be removed.
IT IS A NEW ERA IN THE DENTAL WORLD
The ability for tooth regrowth to occur naturally is definitely a milestone in the medical world. Through this technique, people will now be able to naturally grow their teeth all while covering it with added protection. Since this method automatically removes the need to have a filling procedure, incidences of root canals and tooth extractions will be significantly reduced.
Another advantage that came out of this study is that the drug has been tested and approved in medical trials and therefore it can be readily used in all dental offices.
TREATING THE ROOT CAUSE IS MOST IMPORTANT
The main downside to this new discovery is that it may appear as a quick-fix mechanism for some practitioners. It is possible that dentists may now use this as a band-aid to all patients with damaged teeth without checking into the matter and establishing the main cause of the problem.
Root causes must be established because if not, the patient may suffer from the same tooth problem even with the new, regenerated tooth.
As much as the future is now looking bright in relation to losing teeth to cavities, this new technique is no excuse to avoid proper dental hygiene. Our diets must always contain foods rich in calcium so as to strengthen our teeth. Taking proper care of your teeth will actually ensure you don’t have to go for the tooth regeneration treatment in the first place, therefore saving you money.
Other than diet, we must watch our lifestyle and this means we should limit how often we smoke and our alcohol intake. We may have discovered a way to regrow our teeth but the real message to everyone is how to naturally heal your mouth. It all starts with you!
Alkire Leanna is a North Carolina-based freelance writer and work-from-home for Ritely and mother of two. In her 10 years as a professional writer, she’s worked in proposal management, grant writing, and content creation. Personally, she’s passionate about teaching her family how to stay safe, secure and action-ready in the event of a disaster or emergency.