Our teeth are one of our most precious commodities. When we take care of them, they take care of us. Whether it’s chewing our food, helping us speak clearly, or maintaining proper alignment so our jaw doesn’t hurt, our teeth are important. That’s why protecting our teeth is of paramount importance. After all, once we lose our baby teeth, we only get one set- or do we?
While it may not be possible to regrow a lost or broken tooth on our own, there’s some cool news that could change the way we care for our teeth forever! A company in Japan called Toregem Biopharma has developed an antibody drug that could someday regrow teeth! That’s right- we could someday regrow our own biological teeth without the need for implants, dentures, or crowns!
Clinical trials for the new drug will begin in July of 2024, and its creators hope to launch the product to the market by 2030.
The drug works by manipulating tooth buds that already exist in your mouth. While many tooth buds will eventually form baby or adult teeth, the human mouth also has some tooth buds that simply do not develop at all due to a protein in the body that prevents their growth. The new medication essentially blocks the protein preventing the new teeth from forming, allowing new teeth to grow.
The drug was first tested on ferrets in 2018, because like humans they also lose baby teeth and grow in one set of permanent adult teeth.
The trials are scheduled to begin on children with a condition called anodontia, where a child is unable to grow teeth at any stage. Researchers are hoping that the drug will help those with anodontia grow in a permanent set of adult teeth. If successful, the treatment could also help those who have lost teeth for other reasons.
Unfortunately, it will still be a while before this product is available for consumers, if it ever makes it that far, but it’s exciting to see the technology is there. In the meantime, be sure to care for your natural teeth, and if you’re missing adult teeth, please speak to Dr. Abelar about your options.
When it comes to your smile, the future’s looking bright!