Toothaches are a true legend when it comes to different aches that affect our bodies. We all hate them but we’re ready to go to the dentist and potentially feel even more pain in our teeth if it can help us live without the original pain. And while filling a tooth can be a reliable solution to cavities in our modern age, it is still not the optimal solution as the filling is permanently present in the tooth after it’s implemented which impedes the tooth’s ability to restore its level of minerals that was reduced by the cavity in the first place. And that particular problem is what prompted scientists at King’s College in London earlier this year to research and potentially develop a way to better deal with damaged teeth.
In fact when minor damage occurs in the tooth, the metabolism creates a thin coating that protects the tooth pulp from infection that may happen due to prolonged exposure. But the quantities generated by our cells are not sufficient to be a sustainable solution to the damage. So the researchers of this study worked toward creating a way to incite the stem cells to create dentine inside the tooth pulp. The method they found was successfully able to repair larger damage using the body’s own resources thus eliminating the need for artificial fillings.
The way that this new procedure works is also extremely simple. The damaged area of the tooth is treated with a biodegradable collagen sponge that contains a molecule called GSK-3. This sponge, unlike regular dental filling, will degrade over time and dentine created by the molecule’s reaction to stem cells would take its place inside the cavity.
Such a simple approach is likely to be extremely well received by the dentistry community and will easily be applied in clinical treatment of dental cavities which is something the research team foresees in the near future.