Tooth regeneration gel sounds like a fake commercial

A group of scientists at the University of Leeds’ School of Chemistry have discovered a tooth treatment that would eliminate the need for that unpleasant drilling session in the dentist’s chair. Basically, a gel works to stimulate decayed teeth to regenerate themselves. Sounds great, right? No more drilling and filling cavities, and no more nightmares filled with the dreaded whirring of the mechanical drill.

The new treatment focuses on tackling the first signs of tooth decay. Once the tooth starts to rot, a peptide-based fluid is painted onto the tooth’s surface to stimulate regeneration. The peptide, known as P 11-4, assembles into fibers under when it interacts with the acid produced by bacteria in plaque. This acid is what dissolves the mineral in the teeth. At this point, the fluid forms a gel that provides a “scaffold” that attracts calcium and regenerates the tooth’s mineral from inside the tooth. And voilà! Natural and pain-free tooth repair!

“This may sound too good to be true, but we are essentially helping acid-damaged teeth to regenerate themselves. It is a totally natural non-surgical repair process and is entirely pain-free too,” said Professor Jennifer Kirkham, from the University of Leeds Dental Institute, who led development of the new technique.

Once the fluid had been tested on unsuspecting mice and it was deemed acceptable for human mouths, a group of volunteers with initial signs of tooth decay got to sample the stuff and it was successful at reversing the decay.

“The results of our tests so far are extremely promising,” said Professor Paul Brunton, who is overseeing the patient testing at the University of Leeds Dental Institute. “If these results can be repeated on a larger patient group, then I have no doubt whatsoever that in two to three years time this technique will be available for dentists to use in their daily practice.”

I’m already thinking of the infomercials, voiced-over by a ridiculously masculine voice that says something along the lines of, “Eating too much sweets and worrying about those pesky cavities? No problem! Just squeeze some Leed’s Magic Liquid onto that troubled tooth, and peptides will work to revitalize and renew the hard, bony enamel-coated structure in your mouth.” At this point someone ends up with a mouth full of gritty, gross gel and still has to go to the dentist. They then call the company to return their special edition Magic Liquid package that was on sale for $99.99.

Yeah… Does this sound legitimate to you? If it is, a lot of dentists won’t be too eager to stock it because it means they lose the revenue from drilling and filling. Unless it comes with an outrageous price tag, of course.


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7 Comments

  1. Paul says:

    There will most likely always be a need for the dentist to check for and or drill out the cavity. Cavities will never go away. What I am hoping for is that this new technology will be able to stimulate real enamel and dentin to grow back in the space of the cavity, thereby giving a new option other than artificial fillings.
    Fillings have come a long ways. From metal, mercury, silver, gold, composite. About 40 years ago they were able to replace gray metal fillings with white composite fillings. Even though composite fillings match the color of teeth, they still feel foreign to the tongue which acts like a magnet and senses every touch, feel, and contour inside your private unique mouth. I hope that by the end of this decade, this technology will have become reality, and they will have come up with a way to develope real enamel and dentin material as an added option to refill cavities.

  2. The point is this seems too good to be true… I would be so happy if this turns out to work, and we would certainly report on that as well. Remember that every single diet pill or “miracle cure” in magazines is “backed by scientists.” Thanks for your thoughtful feedback. 

  3. tony says:

    I hope that if this comes to pass, that it either can or allow further study to develop further techniques to grow back parts of teeth that have already been drilled away to place fillings or for teeth that have had root canals. And then, hopefully not too long after, maybe we can finally just grow missing teeth back altogether.

  4. tony says:

    I hope that if this comes to pass, that it either can or allow further study to develop further techniques to grow back parts of teeth that have already been drilled away to place fillings or for teeth that have had root canals. And then, hopefully not too long after, maybe we can finally just grow missing teeth back altogether.

  5. WotsYourDeal,BlogWriter says:

    Your basis for doubting the legitimacy of this SCIENTIFIC FINDING is so ridiculous and that you think doubting scientists based on your ‘imaginary advertisement’ is going to get you a readership, enjoy being wrong.

    • I think the intention is that it sounds too good to be true.  We love technology and innovation, especially when it benefits us in a way that would allow for a healthier lifestyle.  But like all new technology, wonder drugs, and advanced peptide remineralization treatments, we’re nothing but skeptical until we have it in our hands, or our mouths.

    • Tony says:

      I agree with Mobile Magazine Until I have this in my mouth, so to speak, I won’t be too excited. I’ve been reading for years and years how in “five to ten years” we’ll be able to grow whole teeth from stem cells. Well, five to ten years have come and gone and people are still toothless. Not that I don’t think this is promising. I only hope it comes to fruition sooner rather than later.

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