Scientists from Japan have developed a new drug capable of stimulating tooth growth.
Losing one’s teeth is one of the most common dreams – well, nightmares. It’s also a part of life for many, whether it’s a result of old age, bad luck or regrettable dental hygiene.
However, what if there was a drug that would help people regenerate their former gnashers, rather than implants and fake teeth? Thanks to a new study by researchers at Kyoto University and the University of Fukui, it’s a possibility.
Published in the Science Advances journal, the study showed how an antibody for uterine sensitization associated gene-1 (USAG-1) can kickstart tooth growth. The research was performed on mice suffering from tooth agenesis, a congenital condition.
It notes: ‘Our results demonstrate that USAG-1 controls the number of teeth by inhibiting development of potential tooth germs in wild-type or mutant mice missing teeth.’
An average human adult has 32 teeth in their mouth. However, around 1% of the population have less or more because of congenital conditions, which scientists believe may be the root of where to find the cure.
Katsu Takahashi, a lead author on the study alongside and senior lecturer at the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, said, ‘We knew that suppressing USAG-1 benefits tooth growth. What we did not know was whether it would be enough,’ MailOnline reports.
The researchers found success on mice with as little as a single administration, with further progress on ferrets. ‘[They’re] diphyodont animals with similar dental patterns to humans. Our next plan is to test the antibodies on other animals such as pigs and dogs,’ Takahashi said.
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