Alzheimer’s Drug May Naturally Regenerate Dental Cavities
The pangs of cavities and fillings have existed throughout human history. In fact, there is 6,500 year old evidence of early humans trying to fill cavities with beeswax. While cavity fillings might feel like torture, they are a necessary evil to preserve your dental health.
Leaving dental decay untreated typically leads to more decay and infection, and when the infection reaches the center of your tooth, you will need a root canal. Or worse case scenario, you will have to have your tooth extracted. The good news for all of you out there that hate cavity fillings is that researchers are looking for an easy, low-cost and natural cure for cavities.
How Traditional Dental Fillings Work
Dental fillings close off the cavity in your teeth to keep bacteria from entering and causing more decay. Fillings are usually made out of gold, porcelain, composite resin (a tooth colored material), or amalgam.
Depending on your dental goals, each type of filling can give you different results. For instance, gold and amalgam tend to be much stronger, and last much longer than porcelain and composite fillings. On the other hand, composite and porcelain fillings look better cosmetically.
The type of filling can also affect how much of the tooth needs to be drilled, and how brittle it will leave your tooth afterwards. While traditional fillings are the best way to treat cavities, dentists and scientists are always on the lookout for a way to allow the tooth to heal itself. This led researchers to try and treat cavities with a widely used alzheimer’s drug.
Regrowing Teeth with Stem Cells
The catch? Researchers have only performed this experiment with mice. Since mice have much smaller teeth than us, it is too soon in the trial to tell if this could replace traditional cavity fillings. First, they will need to try the approach with rats. If the drugs works with rats, they will begin a trial with humans. However, it could be on the dental scene sooner rather than later, since the drug is already approved for human use with Alzheimer’s disease.
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