A team has discovered how to regrow tooth enamel, a development that could lead to the farewell of fillings to repair tooth decay.
Researchers from Zhejiang University in China have developed a gel that causes tooth enamel to repair itself, as they wrote in the journal Science Advances.
Two words on the nail polish
Enamel is the mineralized substance that covers the surface of the tooth. It is a very complex structure, a fabric with a shape that is difficult to replicate.
It is no coincidence that its structure has never been artificially duplicated: there is something missing even in the design of its fibers.
It forms biologically, but once developed it becomes a-cellular and loses the ability to regenerate.
We all know the consequences: the tooth is attacked gradually by caries, or ends up falling out.
Zhaoming Liu, Ruikang Tang and their research team of ten other colleagues insisted a lot on this finding in their study: caries is the most common chronic condition in humans. 3 out of four adults have at least one tooth removed.
Resins, ceramics and fillings with various substances are used to restore a defense, but they have no permanent effects and can be lost because they do not form a body with the dental material. There regenerative medicine may have solved the problem.
The team tested the product on human teeth placed in a solution that recreated the acidic environment of the oral cavity. The gel produced the regeneration of a layer of enamel in just 48 hours.
The only problem is that the regenerated enamel layer is much thinner than the undamaged one. 3 micrometers, which means 400 times thinner.
The problem itself would be solved by applying the gel for a sufficient number of layers (a bit like saying that the entire enamel could grow back in just over a year).