Alzheimer’s Drug May Enable Decayed Teeth to Heal Themselves

Forget those dreaded dental fillings to fix your decayed teeth, scientists have discovered a novel approach to regrow rotten teeth! In a dental breakthrough, researchers from Dental Institute at King’s College London have found a cure for rotten teeth in an existing drug.

Tideglusib, the drug designed to combat Alzheimer’s disease, has the capability to help decayed teeth grow back naturally and repair themselves, found the scientists.

Currently, dentists use man-made cements or fillings such as calcium and silicon-based products for closing off spaces and to fix larger cavities and fill holes in teeth.

In tests on mice, this drug which is clinically tested to treat Alzheimer’s triggered stem cells in the soft pulp at the center of a tooth to restore a its original dentine where damage was located.

Lead author of the study, Professor Paul Sharpe, of King’s College London said: “The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product for the natural treatment of large cavities, by providing both pulp protection and restoring dentine. In addition, using a drug that has already been tested in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease provides a real opportunity to get this dental treatment quickly into clinics.”

Sharpe and colleagues experimented the drug on mice, in which biodegradable sponges were soaked in the drug and then applied to the cavities in the decayed teeth. They saw the complete, effective natural renewal of living stem cells.

The scientists discovered the Tideglusib drug stimulated the activity of stem cells in the exposed dental pulp allowing the teeth of mice to heal the 0.13mm holes themselves.

“The sponge is biodegradable, that’s the key thing. The space occupied by the sponge becomes full of minerals as the dentine regenerates so you don’t have anything in there to fail in the future,” explained Prof Sharpe.

Based on the findings, the researchers hope this natural repairing approach will widely be opted by dentists and will put an end to those dreaded dentist’s drill, and putties and cements to fill cavity-ridden teeth. They affirmed a new treatment based on this novel approach could be available soon.

Prof Sharpe said: “I don’t think it’s massively long term, it’s quite low-hanging fruit in regenerative medicine and hopeful in a three-to-five year period this would be commercially available.”

Encouraged with their discovery, the team now intends to test the effects of the drug on different organs.

The findings were reported in a paper that was published under the title of ‘Promotion of natural tooth repair by small molecule GSK3 antagonists’ in Scientific Reports on Monday.