In the wake of issues with mercury based fillings it finally seems like the dentist industry is moving in the right direction when it comes to new ways to fix teeth. Chinese scientists have developed a solution for the world tooth decay problem that actually helps your teeth regrow their enamel, offering a permanent solution instead of often temporary fixes. In today’s world with the constant sugars and acids many of us come in contact with we end up dealing with problems of decay. We only get two sets of teeth, one when we’re kids and our adult teeth.
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I know I have faced my own issues with teeth health as a combination of genetics and awful diet combined in the perfect storm to start tooth decay. My story is not unique as many people around the world are suffering from cavities and tooth issues. While there are alternative solutions to the mercury based fillings now, their safety isn’t proven and it’s not a permanent solution, often needing redone just a few years later.
Some Chinese scientists have created a solution that grows back the enamel of a damaged tooth. It mimics the natural mineralization process of enamel. It produces the cells known as ameloblasts which astonishingly enough usually only happens during tooth development. Ameloblasts release proteins which form a new enamel layer, effectively healing your teeth naturally.
Zhejiang University School of Medicine in China researcher’s developed the solution by combining calcium and phosphate ions (components of enamel) with an organic compound called “trimethylamine”. That organic compound stabilizes the tiny particles in an ethanol solution to keep them from clumping together before application.
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The clusters successfully fused to the structure of native enamel during testing. They managed to repair the tooth with an indistinguishable layer that was “2.8 micrometers within 48 hours”. This breakthrough is a world first. This test was only done on already extracted teeth so there’s still work to be done in proving the effectiveness in all situations but it makes me hopeful for the future!
It will be a few years before this ends up on the market sadly, but once it does it can really change things. Dentists still advise that the best thing you can do is avoid having to get dental work in the first place. Best way to do this is avoid carbohydrates and sugars while practicing proper oral hygiene.