This New Treatment Could Heal Tooth Cavities Without Any Fillings
Scientists have invented a new product that can produce regrowth of the tooth enamel, which is a brand new revolutionary way to treat cavities and other teeth diseases. This is something that can and will change the entire process of teeth treatments, and is surely a huge step forward!
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed this treatment which is based on peptides – short chains of aminoacids, linked by peptide bonds which aren’t long enough to be considered as full proteins. When applied to the artificially created dental lesions in a laboratory setting, the product starts to “heal” the lesion by growing new tooth enamel.
“Remineralisation guided by peptides is a healthy alternative to current dental health care,” said materials scientist Mehmet Sarikaya.
The type of cell that the tooth enamel is produced by is called ameloblast, and these secrete the proteins that form the enamel while the tooth is still in the gum. But, once the process of forming the tooth is complete, these types of cells don’t regrow and they basically die off, and our teeth lose layers of enamel through our lifeline.
“Bacteria metabolise sugar and other fermentable carbohydrates in oral environments and acid, as a by-product, will demineralise the dental enamel,” said dentistry researcher Sami Dogan.
Our teeth can be remineralized a little bit by our saliva, fluoride toothpaste and drinking water additives.
To develop the treatment, the team turned to one of the proteins that were produced by ameloblasts, and these are called amelogenins, and they play the key-role in regulating the formation of the enamel. They designed peptides based on amelogenins and created an active ingredient.
The team also worked with fluoride, but only the peptide gave better results with remineralisation the thick layers of the enamel, which leads to active regrowth and self-healing process.
The tests still need to be redone and retaken in case they found out negative sides to this resolution until it’s ready to enter the dentistry. The researchers believe that this type of product should be done in a form of gel or spray that should be selling in the pharmacies in order to help minimize the expensive visits to the dentists. The gels and sprays should help to those that the cavities are still shallow.
“Peptide-enabled formulations will be simple and would be implemented in over-the-counter or clinical products,” Sarikaya said.
The team has published their research in the journal ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering.