We have good news: the dental fillings can soon become ancient history! There was a discovery regarding a drug that is called Tideglusib and it can become a replacement for the fillings for cavity repair.

It was developed for and also trialed for treating Alzheimer’s disease, but this drug can also promote the natural grow back the tooth mechanism, and this way the tooth will be able to repair cavities and heal itself.

Tideglusib actually stimulates the stem cells in the teeth pulp; it prompts the damaged area so it can renew the hard dentin material from which the biggest part of the tooth is comprised. Dentine is the mineralized substance under the tooth enamel which becomes eaten by tooth decay.

Teeth are able to regenerate dentine naturally and they do not need help. However, they can do that under specific circumstances. It is important that the pulp is exposed through trauma or decay so it can prompt the dentine manufacturing. But even at this time, the tooth will be able to grow back a very thin layer in a natural way, which will not be enough for repairing of the cavities that are caused by decay, and in most cases they are deep. Tideglusib can change the outcome and the reason is because it can turn off the GSK-3 enzyme that will stop the formation of dentine.

During the research, the researchers inserted biodegradable and small sponges and they were made of collagen and they soaked them in the Tideglusib in the cavities. The sponges caused dentine growth and during a period of 6 weeks, they repaired the damage. The collagen structure of the sponges melted and the tooth was intact.

Professor Paul Sharpe from the King’s College London, and the main author stated: “Our approach is simple and that is perfect as a clinical dental product for naturally treating large cavities, which is done by providing restoring dentine and pulp protection. Additionally, using a drug which is already tested in clinical trials gives a full opportunity to start using this dental treatment in clinics.”

He also said: “The tooth is not just a lump of mineral. It has its own physiology. If you do this you will change a living tissue with inert cement. The fillings will do just fine, but if the tooth is able to repair alone, that would be the ideal way. You will restore the tooth vitality.”

This procedure was only tested on mouse teeth and additional research is needed in order the results to be confirmed on humans as well. In this research they used Tideglusib on the teeth that were damaged on mice in order to see how it will promote activation on stem cell. They want to do this on rats as well, and if they get positive results, human trials would be next!

They applied drug on the cavity with a collagen sponge that was biodegradable and they soaked them in Tideglusib molecules, and afterwards they sealed everything inside. After couple of weeks, the team realized that the collagen sponge was not degraded. Additionally, the teeth were enough regenerated so the dentin can fill in the gap.

This process was similar to a normal cavity filling. However, the doctors did not put artificial filler, but they encouraged growth of natural dentin, which resulted in healthier teeth.

The best part is that Tideglusib along with the collagen sponges that were used in the procedure passed the clinical trials for different treatments, and this is going to speed up the process, of course if this technique starts to be used among humans.

Ben Scheven is a cell biologist and he comes from the University of Birmingham in the UK. He is not involved in the study, and he said that: “Dentistry is not just about drilling and filling. It is also about having healthy teeth. Especially, because this is a cheap and accessible treatment, and it can be done in every clinic.

This will require time and it might be a long way until it becomes available. However, researchers are decided to make oral care much easier and less painful.


  1. theguardian.com