A recent scientific discovery has shown that Tideglusib, a drug developed for and trialed to treat Alzheimer’s disease, promotes the natural tooth re-growth mechanism, allowing the tooth to repair cavities.
This breakthrough suggests dental fillings may soon be left in the ash heap of history, according to a release copied to the Ghana News Agency.
Tideglusib works by stimulating stem cells in the pulp of teeth, the source of new dentine. Dentine is the mineralized substance beneath tooth enamel that gets eaten away by tooth decay.
Teeth can naturally regenerate dentine without assistance, but only under certain circumstances.
The pulp must be exposed to infection (such as decay) or trauma to prompt the manufacture of dentine.
But even then, the tooth can only re-grow a very thin layer naturally-not enough to repair cavities caused by decay, which are generally deep.
Tideglusib changes this outcome because it turns off the GSK-3 enzyme, which stops dentine from forming.
In the research, the team inserted small, biodegradable sponges made of collagen soaked in Tideglusib into cavities. The sponges triggered dentine growth and within six weeks, the damage was repaired. The collagen structure of the sponges melted away, leaving only the intact tooth.
Thus far, the procedure has only been used in mouse teeth. Yet as King’s College London Dental Institute Professor and lead author Paul Sharpe said “Using a drug that has already been tested in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease provides a real opportunity to get this dental treatment quickly into clinics.”
He added, “The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product for the natural treatment of large cavities, by providing both pulp protection and restoring dentine.”
The team suggested more work needed to be done on the finding.