Decayed teeth might regenerate using stem cells and a drug for Alzheimer

An innovative product designed for patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease could be used for regenerating decayed teeth and molars so that in future we no longer need fillings, informed The Guardian on Monday.

A team of scientists from King’s College London conducted a treatment for regeneration of decayed teeth that could substantially reduce the need for fillings. The new therapy works by stimulating the natural ability of teeth to repair themselves by activating the stem cells from dental pulp.

‘Almost everyone on the planet is facing caries, there is a huge volume of people who are treated’, was shown in this paper by Professor Paul Sharpe, who led the research. ‘I tried to achieve something very simple, very fast and very cheap,’ he added.

British scientists have shown in this study that the natural regeneration of dental problems can be stimulated by using a drug that is believed to be the cure for Alzheimer’s disease, called tideglusib.

It causes stem cells inside the tooth cavities to become odontoblaste cells (with an important role in forming the dentine – the tissue of the tooth structure under the enamel). As a result, the cells belonging to the structure of the tooth repair the caries acting on the surface of the tooth.

The research team has demonstrated in experiments on mice. When their cavities were filled with a collagen sponge impregnated with the biodegradable drug their teeth gradually regenerated. To find out if it worked, scientists have made holes in mice’s teeth, they inserted sponge and then used a dental adhesive to seal the empty spot. A few weeks later, the sponge with the absorbable drug were gone and replaced by new dentin.

In the next phase of the study, the research team will conduct tests on rats, whose teeth are four times bigger than those of mice, and if successful, the next stage will be carried out on human patients.

The study was published in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’.