King’s College London has discovered positive effects on teeth through an already tested drug to combat Alzheimer’s disease.
Published in Scientific Reports, Dental Institute scientists believe they have a discovered a way to stimulate the stem cells within a tooth, regenerating and repairing a cavity without artificial assistance.
The current standard method for cavity repair requires cement to build upon the tooth but importantly cannot encourage natural regrowth, something this new process aims to achieve, potentially drastically reducing the need for calcium or silicon-based fillings.
The vital molecule, Tideglusib, is already being used in clinical trials to combat Alzheimer’s, which scientists believe could lead to a dental revolution.
“The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product” said Professor Paul Sharpe, lead author of the study, adding that the situation “provides a real opportunity to get this dental treatment quickly into clinics.”
Unlike current treatments, which can lead to a tooth being damaged further if fillings become unsuccessful or infected, this biological approach could remove these problems altogether, with a biodegradable application that too is already commercially available.
“[The] next step we are working on now is scale up of the drug,” explained Professor Sharpe as they gear up for trials on human teeth with increased damage effects, “after that we aim to start clinical trials.”