Peptide-Based Toothpaste to Cure Dental Cavities
Researchers from University of Washington have developed convenient and natural product that uses proteins to rebuild tooth enamel and treat dental cavities
Although tooth decay is relatively harmless in early stages, progression of cavity can lead to serious health concerns. This can present adverse consequences on the remaining teeth and supporting tissues and on the patient’s general health. New biogenic dental products developed by researchers can rebuild teeth and cure cavities without costly and uncomfortable dental treatments. The research was published in ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering. “Remineralization guided by peptides is a healthy alternative to current dental health care,” said lead author Mehmet Sarikaya, professor of materials science and engineering and adjunct professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Oral Health Sciences. “Peptide-enabled formulations will be simple and would be implemented in over-the-counter or clinical products,” Sarikaya said.
According to the World Health Organization, dental cavities affect nearly every age group and they are accompanied by serious health concerns. Furthermore, direct and indirect cost of treating dental cavities and related diseases creates huge economic burden for individuals and health care systems. “Bacteria metabolize sugar and other fermentable carbohydrates in oral environments and acid, as a by-product, will demineralize the dental enamel,” said co-author Sami Dogan, associate professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry at the UW School of Dentistry.
The researchers developed new method by capturing the essence of amelogenin, a protein crucial to forming the hard crown enamel to design amelogenin-derived peptides that biomineralize 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 to 50 micrometers of new enamel on the teeth after each use. It has applications in private and public health settings, in biomimetic toothpaste, gels, and solutions. This can help people to rebuild and strengthen tooth enamel on a daily basis as part of a preventive dental care routine.
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