If you aren't dabbling in a daily brush and floss routine, it may be time to start. The health of your teeth affects many other aspects of your overall well-being, so it's important not to skimp on this part of your self-care routine. Neglecting your gums can even lead to heart disease, so your mouth matters more than you know.
Although you would rather poke your eye out, visiting the dentist is essential for your oral health. Scheduling a cleaning once a year with your dentist is recommended for everyone, but you may need to visit your dentist twice or more if you are at risk for gum disease. The cleaning is straightforward, but cavities can make things more complicated—not to mention painful.
Being told you have a cavity is bad enough, but hearing that you need to get a filling is much, much worse. The drilling, the poking, and prodding are enough to make you insane. Minutes feel like hours as your dentist mercilessly tears your mouth apart—or so it seems.
The dentist prevents further decay to the tooth by filling it with material to prevent bacteria from entering the tooth. Fillings can be made out of a variety of materials, such as composite resin, porcelain, and even gold. A recently discovered treatment method will make the need for fillings practically obsolete.
A new treatment has emerged that may revolutionize how dentists approach fillings. This process allows the tooth to actually repair itself without filling it with an outside substance—making this procedure the first of its kind. We may be saying goodbye to fillings forever.
Although scientists have previously used this procedure to simply fix holes and cracks in the dentine, or the portion of the tooth just beneath the surface enamel, new advances could take this natural repairing process all the way to the root. Scientists have found that a drug that helps those with neurological disorders may be the key to helping cavities repair on their own.
Tideglusib—a drug that helps people living with neurological disorders to regrow brain cells—can help save the entire tooth, instead of just the top layer. The use of Tideglusib can help a tooth repair itself by activating stem cells in the soft pulp of the tooth. This gives the tooth the ability to repair itself—no need for fillings.
Scientists conducted a study on a group of mice. The teeth of the mice that showed decay were filled with a sponge soaked with the drug Tideglusib. The result? Their teeth were able to heal themselves without doing any cosmetic procedure.
9. Restoring The Original Tooth Can Prevent Further Damage
Although receiving a filling solves the problem of further decay, it may only be a short-term solution. The substances used for teeth fillings can weaken the tooth, which can cause more damage in the long-run. The tooth may even have to be extracted after numerous filling procedures.
10. Some Have Been Skeptical About The Safety Of Fillings
Although amalgam fillings of the past contained mercury — yes, mercury — the Mayo Clinic has stated that dental amalgam used today is entirely safe and long-lasting for those who need a cavity filled. This new process of the tooth healing itself can help people avoid putting these substances anywhere near their teeth.
11. This New Procedure Will Prevent Unnecessary Damage
“The tooth is not just a lump of mineral, it’s got its own physiology. You’re replacing a living tissue with an inert cement,” stated Professor Paul Sharpe, who led the study at King's College London. Allowing your tooth to repair itself eliminates the need for adding foreign objects to the tooth, which is a win when it comes to dental health.
12. This Natural Approach May Dominate The Dental Field
“Fillings work fine, but if the tooth can repair itself, surely [that’s] the best way. You’re restoring all the vitality of the tooth," Sharpe revealed. Real tooth material most definitely trumps anything artificial being placed in your mouth — but don't get too excited — you will still have to deal with some of your dentist's most commonly used tools.
13. You Can't Avoid This Dental Instrument, Though
Thought you wouldn't have to see the dentist drill anymore? Not so fast. "Sorry, you’re still going to have the drill, you can’t get away from that, I’m afraid," Professor Sharpe admitted. It's a small price to pay for improving your overall dental health and allowing your teeth to heal on their own.
14. You May Start Hating Your Dentist A Little Less
“I think it would be welcomed amongst patients, as no one likes going to the dentist to have fillings and injections, no matter how nice we are," stated Winnie Wong, a dentist based in Hertfordshire, England. Contrary to popular belief, your dentist doesn't enjoy tormenting you with a drill.
“Dentistry is not only about filling and drilling but also about keeping the teeth healthy. Especially since it’s an accessible and cheap treatment I can imagine this being used in the clinic," stated Ben Scheven, an oral cell biologist at the University of Birmingham. Your future appointment may not be so bleak, and natural tooth growth is definitely the way to go. Take that, cavities.