A daily dose of future – Drug treatment for dental decay
Tideglusib is a drug that was developed initially in order to treat Alzheimer’s disease. It was tested on human subjects suffering from Alzheimer’s. However, during the investigation process, scientists have noticed something extraordinary and quite unexpected – the drug was directly promoting natural teeth repair mechanisms and allowed the tooth to fight cavities. The mechanism of action that was proposed included the stimulation of stem cells within the pulp of the tooth, which resulted in higher production of dentine (material located beneath the tooth enamel that gets damaged by tooth decay).
Our teeth can produce dentin, however under very specific circumstances. Teeth have to be exposed to an infection or traumatic injury, which is a signal for teeth to produce dentin. Following infection or trauma, cells located in the tooth pulp called odontoblasts become active and produce a layer of dentin that servers as pulp protection. The production of dentin is, however, insufficient to completely repair the tooth that was affected by dental decay. Tideglusib can increase the production of dentin since it deactivates a specific enzyme responsible for the cessation of dentin formation. This new approach could push back the standard fillings to history since it stimulates tooth’s own natural mechanisms for dentin production.
Standard treatment of tooth decay consists of cement or silicone-based fillings which may be prone to infections leading to fillings replacement or even tooth extraction. This therapeutic solution never completely restores the tooth’s natural structure.
From the treatment of Alzheimer’s to the revolution in dental care
The researchers used biodegradable sponges filled with the drug and inserted them into cavities. The drug was slowly releasing from the sponges and induced tooth repair. After six weeks, complete tooth repair was achieved. The collagen sponge disappeared in time, leaving only the healthy tooth. So far, the experiment was conducted on mice only, however, the scientists are optimistic. One of the leading experts in this investigation stated that, since the drug was already tested on humans for Alzheimer’s disease, it may be released to the dental clinics quite soon. The simplicity of this approach makes this therapeutic method more superior compared to traditional fillings. Additionally, tideglusib protects the pulp and increases the dentin production acting as a natural treatment modality, which completely restores the tooth’s natural structure.
While this treatment isn’t available yet, you can trust Austin dentist Dan Matthews to provide the best current treatments for all your dental needs.