treatment, which has been tested in mice, could possibly bring about healing in
a way that could closely replicate the normal healing process in the damaged
‘Is it possible to treat large dental cavities without a filling or extracting the tooth? The answer could be yes in a not-so-distant future.’
can cause excruciating pain, which is
often difficult to forget. And despite proper dental care, a cavity at some
point in life is almost unavoidable. The inner nerve endings get exposed when
the outer dentine gets eroded, resulting in severe pain.
The treatment of the
tooth cavity often involves several visits to the dentist. The dentist fills up
the cavity with artificial substances like inorganic cement and other fillers
depending on the aesthetic requirements of the patient. The ordeal may not end
at this. The patient may suffer from repeated infections around the filling.
The filling may come out requiring a repeat procedure. The tooth may eventually
Alternative to the Use of Fillers for Large Dental Cavities
The research team used three
small molecule glycogen synthase kinase (GSK-3) antagonists including
tideglusib to repair experimentally damaged mice teeth.
Tideglusib is being
investigated for its possible use in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease
, a totally
unrelated neurological condition that causes memory loss and mainly affects
GSK-3 antagonists stimulated the stem cells (immature cells with the ability to
regenerate) of the tooth pulp, and healing of the dental cavity took place in a
way that resembled more commonly the natural healing process of the tooth
sponge was used to deliver the medication, which disintegrated in due course.
The research team feels that
since tideglusib is already undergoing testing in human beings (though for a
different indication), several aspects like safety would have already been
studied, thereby allowing the new treatment to come into the market faster.
Collagen sponge is already available in the market, which could further make
the process faster. However, this study was conducted on mice teeth, and is
still quite some time away before it can be widely adopted for the treatment of
- 'Promotion of natural tooth repair by small molecule GSK3 antagonists' by Vitor Neves, Rebecca Babb, Dhivya Chandrasekaran and Paul T Sharpe. Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 39654 (2017) doi:10.1038/srep39654