There may be a pain-free way to treat tooth decay while reversing the damaging effects of decay and restoring the teeth.
Researchers at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom made the discovery. This finding could completely change the way fillings are done.
Tooth decay occurs when the acid from the bacteria in plaque eats away at the teeth. The result is holes or a type of pore that forms. The pores eventually rise in number and size as the decay worsens. The tooth could need to drilled and filled to prevent a possible toothache or, in some cases, the tooth has to be extracted.
The goal of this research was to create a method to do these things without pain or drilling. That’s why the University of Leeds developed an innovative way of accomplishing this.
The idea provides dentists with a peptide-based fluid that is applied by painting it onto the tooth surface. The peptide technology is tailored to the way the tooth forms and it forces regeneration of the tooth defect.
This fluid, which may appear too good to be true at this point, was developed by the University of Leeds School of Chemistry and lead researcher Dr. Amalia Aggeli. It contains the peptide P 11-4, a peptide that can assemble together under certain circumstances. This means that the fluid can seep into the micropores that resulted from the acid and the fluid can then transform into a gel. The ensuing gel provides a barrier that can attract calcium, enabling the tooth’s mineral to regenerate.
The research team wanted to see if their discovery worked, so they recently tested it on a group of adults whose dentists said their teeth showed early signs of decay. The results indicated that P 11-4 is actually capable of turning back the damage from decay and regenerating tooth tissue.