Researchers at the University of Washington (UW), USA have designed a product that uses proteins to rebuild tooth enamel and treat dental cavities. The research finding was first published in ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering.
The new product would be peptide-enabled formulations Lead author Mehmet Sarikaya, professor of materials science and engineering said: “Peptide-enabled formulations will be simple and would be implemented in over-the-counter or clinical products”.
According to the World Health Organization, dental cavities affect nearly every age group and they are accompanied by serious health concerns.
Good oral hygiene is the best prevention, and over the past half-century, brushing and flossing have reduced significantly the impact of cavities on many people. Still, some socioeconomic groups suffer disproportionately, the researchers said.
The UW team states it has come up with a way to repair the tooth enamel. The researchers accomplished this by using amelogenin – a protein crucial to forming the hard crown enamel – to design amelogenin-derived peptides that biomineralise and are the key active ingredient in the new technology. The bioinspired repair process restores the mineral structure found in native tooth enamel. The peptide-enabled technology allows the deposition of 10-50 micrometres of new enamel on teeth after each use. Once fully developed, the technology has the potential to be used in both private and public health settings, in biomimetic toothpaste, gels, solutions and composites. The technology enables people to rebuild and strengthen tooth enamel on a daily basis as part of a preventive dental care routine.