If you dread going to the dentist or you have regular problems with decay, it could make you feel much better to know that dental researchers are busy working on ways to maintain your teeth, so that you don’t have to spend too much time in the dentist’s chair.
A new product that has been developed at the University of Leeds could help to protect against tooth decay, eliminating the need for fillings and root canals. A paste has been created by scientists to protect the outer layer of the tooth, insulating the pulp chamber at the tooth’s centre; the paste contains naturally occurring peptides that will seep into tiny holes in the tooth’s surface, reinforcing the enamel. The peptides also attract calcium from the saliva in the mouth, providing a protective layer over the teeth.
The product was initially created to treat early decay but it is thought that it could help to repair further damage that has been done to teeth with invasive cavities. Professor Jennifer Kirkham said that the team were aware that ‘the formula could provide a certain degree of repair with tooth decay’ but also added that there are hopes that the product, in the form of a paste, ‘could protect against acid attack.’