When we have an aching mouth, the first thing that pops into our head is: “I have a cavity.” This generally leaves you with two options, hope that the cavity goes away and fixes itself, or go to the dentist. Most people hate option 2.
The good news is that there is a possibility that the use of dental fillings may be left in the dust sooner rather than later. A new discovery has been made about a drug that was essentially developed for Alzheimer’s patients, may replace dental fillings.
The drug called Tideglusib, which was developed and trialed to help treat Alzheimer’s has also shown to provide oral effects as well. What kind of effects? Read on to find out.
The affects that Tideglusib has on the mouth is the ability to promote natural tooth regrowth mechanism, which allows the tooth to repair a cavities, researchers say.
How does it work? Well it stimulates stem cells in the pulp of the teeth, which is the main source of new dentin. In simple terms, dentin is the mineralized substance that is beneath the enamel which gets eaten away by tooth decay.
Teeth do have the ability to regenerate dentin that is lost on their own, but only in certain circumstances. In order for this to happen, the pulp must be exposed through an infection or trauma in order to manufacture dentin.
Even if this happens, the tooth can only regrow a very thin layer. This thin layer is not nearly enough to repair a cavity and allow the tooth to regrow.
This is where Tideglusib comes in. It turns off the GSK-3 enzyme which is directly responsible for stopping dentin from forming.
To test this product, the team inserted small, biodegradable sponges that were made of collagen soaked in Tideglusib into cavities. The sponges triggered significant dentin growth.
Within six weeks, the damage was completely repaired. The collagen sponges structure of the sponges melted away and left the tooth completely healthy and intact!
As if right now, this procedure has only been tested on mouse teeth, though scientists are remaining positive that the drug will be in dental practices because it’s already been tested for Alzheimer’s.
Paul Sharpe, a professor at the London Dental Institute, believes that this product is an ideal fit for the clinical and dental industry, “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.”
Even though there is good promise with Tideglusib, this doesn’t mean that people can stop taking care of their teeth. Below are some helpful tips for good oral hygiene.
Proper Brushing: This may seem like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised how many people do not brush their teeth with the proper technique. Position the brush at a 45 degree angle near the gum line. The gum line and the tooth surface should be in contact with the bristles. To clean the outer surface, use an up-and-down motion and side-to-side. Do the same technique to clean the inner surface.
Flossing: I know it can seem like a chore, especially since you just brushed your teeth, but it can help remove any food particles that were missed with your tooth brush. It allows you to reach deep between your teeth where the bristles from the tooth brush cannot, and remove what mouthwash cannot.
Don’t Smoke: You can kill two birds with one stone if you can avoid this habit. Firstly, you will avoid getting oral cancer and other complications. Secondly, it will prevent you from using agents that help mask the smell of tobacco, i.e. gum and other flavored candies.
Limit Your Soda, Coffee and Alcohol Consumption: Each of these beverages have a high consumption of phosphorus, which is a healthy mineral for a healthy mouth. However, too much phosphorus can deplete your body’s level of calcium. This causes dental hygiene problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Try sticking beverages like milk, which strengthens your teeth.
Go to the Dentist: I know that visiting the dentist is not on anyone’s top priority list, nor is it anyone’s favorite place to be. But it’s recommended that you see your dentist at least twice a year for hygiene treatment and x-rays. This will prevent any future dental issues from occurring.
Clean your Tongue: Many people forget this technique, but your tongue carries tons of bacteria. Cleaning it every day using a professional cleaner will remove countless bacteria. Bacteria on your tongue contribute to bad breath and negatively affects your dental health.