Decaying tooth? Researchers invent painless way to grow back enamel
(Representational image) New painless method to replace conventional tooth cavity treatment.Creative Commons.
The days of conventional techniques of filling tooth cavity might might soon be over as scientists have reportedly developed a new procedure that can reconstruct tooth enamel. Yes, a painless process to heal tooth cavities without any drilling and fillings.
Sounds too good to be true, right?
This new treatment, which can reportedly encourage tooth enamel to grow back, is developed using peptides. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Washington (UW).
Peptides are compound consisting of two or more amino acids linked in a chain but are not as long as full proteins.
In labs, the researchers observed that when the treatment is applied on artificially created damaged teeth, it remineralized tooth enamel and completely integrates with the existing enamel underneath, as reported Science Alert. "Remineralisation guided by peptides is a healthy alternative to current dental health care," said Mehmet Sarikaya – the lead author of the research. Sarikaya is also the professor of materials science and engineering and adjunct professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Oral Health Sciences.
So, how does it work?
The new biogenic dental products bind onto tooth surfaces and "recruit calcium and phosphate ions", according to Deniz Yucesoy, a co-author and a doctoral student at the UW.
Researchers developed these peptides by studying amelogenin — a protein responsible for the development of enamel.
The research team is hopeful that once the technology is fully developed, it can be administered in the form biomimetic toothpaste, gels, solutions and composites in both private and public health settings. And if that happens, no more uncomfortable drilling, cleaning and filling tooth cavities.