Stem cells might allow teeth to fix a cavity on their own. Stem cell procedures are very polarizing, but research has shown that the cells can work miracles when it comes to tissues growth. Researchers in London tested a treatment in mice to regrow their teeth by utilizing stem cells within the dental pulp. The team studied the WNT pathway, which is a collection of molecules that helps repair tissue, and found they could coax teeth to repair themselves. They tested this by drilling holes into mice teeth to simulate cavities, then placing drug-infused sponges within the cavities.
The teeth were almost fully repaired six weeks later — they were able to produce more dentin, which helps restore wear and tear on our teeth. This experiment could completely change how we treat cavities — soon they may be able to heal themselves. Though there are a few risks when using them, the team believes experiments like these could lead to pharmaceuticals specifically for dentistry.
Human trials may be on the horizon in terms of the experiment. Maybe, sometime soon, we won’t have to go through the horrors of drilling, novacane and dentist chairs to fix a cavity. We’ll just have to take a pill and fix it on our own.