Wednesday, March 4, 2015

You Know the Drill


If you’re like most people who tend to over indulge when it comes to the occasional sugary sweet, you may have found yourself seated in your dentist’s office being chastised over a newly formed cavity. Cavities are formed when bacteria dissolves the enamel coating around the tooth, and in the past this often meant painful drilling, numb cheeks and an expensive bill to boot. This may all be in the past however, as scientists based out of the University of Leeds in England may have found a new and unique solution to prevent tooth decay. A research team at the university has developed an amino acid-based toothpaste that acts as a strengthening scaffold that supports new growth. Using the scaffold as a support structure, calcium ions are attracted to the site to rebuild enamel, thereby reversing the effects of decay. Patients around the globe who fear the pain associated with dental procedures will certainly prefer this new method of regrowth. Similar techniques using stem cells have been developed, but the use of an amino acid paste cuts out the cost and controversy associated with stem cell use.

It is important to note however that even thought the paste has been tested and proven to show regrowth, some drilling is still required to remove the decay in the tooth so that the paste can be applied. Many dentists still use toxic mercury compounds to fill cavities, which can have adverse effects on the body, such as kidneys and neurological system. Using this paste will help to eliminate many risks associated with mercury fillings. Even though the treatment will not completely eradicate the need for regular check-ups, it will certainly make them more pleasant.

Posted by Hilary Mello (2)


  1. Great post! I think that this could be a really cool advancement for dentistry. A lot of people really hate the dentist so this could really help people to have healthier dental hygiene. If this works really well it could be an easier way to promote healthier mouths world wide especially in places that don't traditionally have good dental hygiene. But overall this is a really cool idea and one that could help a lot of people worldwide.

    -Madison Boone

  2. Interesting post on personal care and health, I like the emphasis these kinds of post have on improving and taking care of ourselves. I was wondering why the treatment is specifically "amino acid" based as apposed to "protein" based. Does it focus on only a few, specific amino acids or do these amino acids not form a traditional protein structure? Also, what is the basic, biochemical premise behind this research, or is this just a general study on new possibilities in toothpaste ingredients?
    -Dan Staiculescu

  3. Well this is certainly good news for me since, since I'm not a big fan of the dentist. I'm curious though is this something that is commercially available or is it still under testing? Great post,

    David Rains,

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Wow this sounds like a great idea. Just curious, when doing your research on this topic, did you come across any negative side effects or drawbacks of using the amino acid paste?

    -Amanda Okpoebo

  6. This is really cool! It's unfortunate that drilling is still required before this paste can work, because that still requires a specialist, and with that, a specialist cost. Hopefully this will work well as a preventative measure, and reduce the trips and costs for people around the world, especially in countries where acquiring a paste is much easier than going to a dentist.

  7. It's so unusual to think that even with where technology is today, there isn't a legitimate way of outright restoring tooth enamel. Consider how we can grow organs for transplant and synthesize materials like diamonds, but enamel is beyond our reach. I suppose a part of it has to do with after enamel is formed and the tooth erupts, it is no longer connected to blood vessels and thus can't receive the materials needed to form enamel from the body.
    -Patrick O'Loughlin

  8. Very interesting. Last year I felt like i was in the dentist every other week. The dentist is now officially my worst nightmare after getting my root canal. Although I have cut down on the sweets I am definately going to look into the toothepaste
    -Barbara Afogho