In a study published in the journal ACS Biomaterials, a group of researchers at the University of Washington (UW) tested six methods of remineralization (AKA enamel building) on artificially created lesions on enamel. The study unearthed one potential new treatment for cavities: using peptides—tiny proteins derived from amino acids—that allow people to regrow and strengthen their crown enamel (a much better alternative to having a doctor drill in your mouth, IMO). The peptide solution binds onto tooth surfaces and enlists the help of calcium and phosphate ions to rebuild a mineral layer.
“Remineralization guided by peptides is a healthy alternative to current dental health care." —Dr. Mehmet Sarikaya, lead study author
Once fully developed and tested, the peptide technology could be used in two ways: as a cost-effective alternative to existing cavity treatments and as a preventative measure in over-the-counter solutions—referred to as "biogenic dental products"—like toothpaste, gels, and composites that could become part of the daily dental-care routine, ultimately making cavities a nonstarter.
“Remineralization guided by peptides is a healthy alternative to current dental health care,” says lead author Mehmet Sarikaya, PhD, and professor of materials science and engineering at UW, in a press release.
If that's all true, here's hoping that the technology passes through development stages quickly. Until then, do your best to prevent cavities using floss, coconut-oil toothpaste, or these all-natural products that'll clean up your dental routine.
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