New fluid helps teeth regenerate themselves

Researchers at the University of Leeds have developed a fluid that helps prevent cavities and aids teeth repair themselves.

Tooth decay appears when acid produced by bacteria forms in microscopic holes in the teeth, called “pores.” The researchers developed a fluid containing a peptide known as P 11-4 that penetrates the pores created by bacteria and turns into a gel that attracts calcium to the affected area, thus regenerating the tooth from within.

“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 the development of the new technique.

“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,” Professor Paul Brunton, who oversees the patient testing at the University of Leeds Dental Institute, said.

“The main reason that people don’t go to the dentist regularly is fear. If we can offer a treatment that is completely non-invasive, that doesn’t involve a mechanical drill, then we can change that perceived link between dental treatment and pain. This really is more than filling without drilling, this is a novel approach that enables the patients to keep their natural teeth!”