Dentophobia suffers rejoice!
After a week of Wal-Mart invading patron privacy, a mom killing her young children with autism, warnings that the cyber sky falling, and criminals jumping the organ waiting list, I sure needed some good news.
I was so excited to find out that the days of drilling, scraping, and screams of pain that accompany getting a tooth filled may soon be a thing of the past. Don’t all scream “yeah” at one time!
Dental fillings are not pleasant under any circumstances. In fact, many people have a very real dental phobia that causes them to choose the pain of the tooth problem over the pain of the dentist visit. The sad thing is that after all that one goes through to get the filling, it still may come out with wear or poor dentistry. Scientists in France to the rescue.
A gel has been developed that can help a decayed tooth return to it’s original healthy state in as little as four weeks. The gel contains melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH,) the same hormone that helps to determine how light or dark your flesh tone is. Recent studies have suggested that MSH played a role in stimulating bone regeneration. So, scientists at the National Institute for Health and Medical Research in Paris decided to test the hormone to see if would also stimulate tooth regeneration… since bone and teeth are much alike in structure. MSH was mixed with poly-L-glutamic acid, a chemical that has long been used to transport medicines because it can survive the harsh acidic environment of the body. The resulting gel was then rubbed on extracted dental pulp fibroblasts from human teeth. The dental pulp fibroblasts are cells that help new tooth tissue to grow. Heretofore, those “growth cells” stopped working after they were damaged by dental decay. The study showed that the gel not only stimulated new growth to repair the tooth, but also aided in the adhesion process that locks the cells together for a strong tooth. These findings were published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano.
In a different study, also by French scientists, the gel was applied to live mice teeth with cavities. The cavities were gone in four weeks.