Regrowing Tooth Enamel

Clear vials being filled with a pink liquid.

Clear vials being filled with a pink liquid.

Tooth decay, cavities, and tooth sensitivity; these are a few of the problems that can arise from the erosion of enamel on your teeth. Tooth enamel is the hardened layer on the outside of your teeth, and it is the hardest substance produced by the human body. However, there is a glaring flaw in the way enamel forms. Specifically, it is made of non-living cells, and our bodies are unable to regenerate it after the initial creation of the tooth. When the enamel goes, that’s it for natural remedies; or so it has been. New research by a team of Chinese scientists may be about to change this situation.

These researchers at the Zhejiang University of China claim to have succeeded in using the basic building blocks of enamel to reproduce the enamel structure within a controlled environment. Seeing as this process required forty-eight hours of suspension within an alcohol and trimethylamine solution, it’s not quite ready for human use. The researchers, however, believe that human trials may be plausible after the next few years.

While this is certainly exciting news, it is too early in the game to be placing any bets upon it. For now, don’t put off getting your teeth treated with the more traditional methods. Cavities need filling, and some teeth still need crowns. It’s a possibility that if this research pans out the process of regrowing enamel within the human mouth will replace some of these current solutions.

In the meantime, keep up with your at-home oral care and with your twice-yearly visits to your Tulsa dentist for a Tulsa teeth cleaning. Some of the impetus for this intensity of care for your teeth is due to how tooth enamel doesn’t re-grow on its own, or by any process currently in medical use. However, don’t expect the oral-care recommendations to relax anytime soon. In the global push for oral hygiene, humanity is still fighting an uphill battle.

The World Health Organization stated that a 2016 estimate found that “oral diseases affected half of the world’s population (3.58 billion people) with dental caries (tooth decay) in permanent teeth being the most prevalent condition assessed.” Also, the CDC stated in 2016 that “More than 90% of US adults have had a cavity, and 1 in 4 has untreated cavities.” These numbers are somewhat alarming, and they should be. Even without the potential advances being made in enamel regrowth, modern dental medicine can drive these numbers much lower.

To reduce the rates of cavities, the most important thing we can all do is to take proper care of our teeth. This means brushing twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, flossing once a day, and going in for a Tulsa teeth cleaning twice a year. Following these steps won’t guarantee that you’ll always be cavity-free, but it will reduce the odds of developing cavities and ensure that they get caught and treated as soon as possible.

Don’t wait for the future, schedule an appointment today, and let our Tulsa dentist help keep your teeth cavity-free.

 

 

 

Sources:

1.       https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/8/eaaw9569

2.       https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/oral-health

3.      https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/pdf/aag-oral-health.pdf

4.      Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash