Have Japanese scientists found a way to regrow teeth?

New teeth-growing drug could change dentistry as we know it.

A team from the Kitano Hospital in Osaka, Japan, has been trialing a new medication that could help teeth heal themselves and even regrow. And as crazy as that may sound, it’s already worked on other animals like ferrets, spurring Japanese health authorities to approve it for human trials.

As we all know, that the vast majority of human beings have two sets of teeth: the primaries and the permanents. We are also aware that once we lose one of our permanent teeth, it can only be replaced by implants or something similar. Now, however, there is a new procedure that’s already being hailed as a potential ‘permanent cure’.

This new drug works on the principle that supressing the Uterine sensitisation-associated gene-1 (USAG-1), which inhibits teeth growth, gives the bone morphogenetic proteins responsible for tooth development the chance to work their magic.

This process has already proved successful on mice and ferrets, which, like humans, are diphyodont animals with two sets of teeth. Having said that, the scientists are still not entirely sure that will be enough to regrow teeth in humans, but that’s something that the new trials starting in September should answer.

If successful, the drug could hit the market in six years’ time, finally offering people with tooth loss a permanent and ‘natural’ solution… Now that’s definitely exciting!

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