A Drug Meant for Alzheimer’s Treatment Regrows Human Teeth

The day has come to bid our farewells to cavities, dental fillings and drills and welcome a revolutionary tooth-growing remedy. If you thought this day would never come, you are about to be proven wrong!

According to the latest study released by a group of scientists at King’s College, a new medicine has been discovered, one that’s promising to stimulate teeth growth over injuries and cavities. They’ve just published their study this week in the Scientific Reports.

The researchers were working on Tideglusib, an experimental drug for Alzheimer’s when they stumbled upon an unexpected side-effect – the drug stimulated dentin growth! The dentin makes up most of the tooth and it’s actually the bony part composed of calcified tissue, just under the hard enamel and above the tooth’s pulp.

The study’s author, Paul Sharpe from King’s College London said I na statement that the best part is that the drug is easy to use so it can be used in nearly every dental setting. The report further states that the clinical trials were supposed to test if the drug Tideglusib was going to encourage new brain cell growths but in the process it also encouraged the tooth to create extra stem cells and grow dentin over the injury or cavity in the subjects.

In Alzheimer’s clinical trials, Tideglusib is administered orally and is believed to fight dementia-causing mutations. It focusses on tau proteins, which are found in neurons and other parts of the body. When it comes to its dental application, it seems that Tideglusib stops a form of tau protein from doing what it’s supposed to do— stopping dentin production in the tooth.

Under normal circumstances, if a tooth is injured it only forms a thin layer of dentin on top of it but this wouldn’t be enough to save the tooth and spare us a trip to the dentist. However, once they applied Tideglusib on the affected area the enzyme that usually stops dentin growth, glycogen synthase kinase (GSK-3), gets blocked and the tooth just heals itself. Amazing!

Once the researchers from King’s College realized the potential of the drug they immediately put it to the test. They put the enzyme inhibitor on biodegradable collagen sponges, placed them in subjects’ teeth where cavities had formed and discovered that the teeth had miraculously healed on their own and there was no need for fillings or drilling.

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,” Sharpe said.

Source:

http://motherboard.vice.com/