Dental caries, or cavities, is the number-one chronic disease among children in the US. Tooth decay is not limited to children, however. Approximately 90-99% of adults have had or currently have at least one cavity. Halting tooth decay and repairing the damage it causes involves removing the damaged and infected tissue. Unfortunately, the thought of a drill prevents many people from seeking treatment, even when it is painfully obvious that decay is eating away at their teeth. Des Moines-area dentist Dr. Ryan Hussong explores the report of a noninvasive cavity treatment that requires no drill and helps rebuild teeth.
Why Do Cavities Form?
A cavity occurs as a result of the acid produced when oral bacteria digests sugars and starches. This acid attacks your tooth enamel and dissolves the minerals within the tooth, compromising your tooth’s natural protection. The acid attack produces small holes in your tooth’s enamel, where bacteria can rest and your toothbrush can’t reach. Bacteria continue to metabolize and produce acid from their cozy hiding spot, and the holes continue to grow, forming cavities and destroying your tooth. When a cavity is detected in its mild stage, it can usually be treated by removing the decayed tissue and filling the resulting space with a dental filling. The materials used for this filling have evolved from metal amalgam to tooth-colored composite resin. Now, researchers at the University of Leeds’ School of Chemistry may have discovered the next evolution of cavity treatment.
Active Protection from Cavities
Rather than merely removing decayed tissue, researchers aimed to arm dentists with a solution that will actively fight and help prevent cavities. This solution is a peptide-based liquid that is painted onto the surface of a tooth. It contains the peptide P11-4, which will assemble together into fibers under the right conditions. In theory, this liquid seeps into the small holes created by acid attacks and form itself into a gel, which will provide a framework that attracts calcium to regenerate the tooth’s mineral source from within. In practice, the technique proved effective at reversing damage in a small group of people whose dentists had spotted initial signs of tooth decay.
This technology has been licensed and is awaiting an introduction to dentists worldwide. To learn more about cavity prevention and treatment, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hussong, call Cornerstone Dental at (515) 984-6001. We serve families from Des Moines, Polk City, Ames, Ankeny, Alleman, Bondurant, Grimes, Johnston, and the surrounding communities.
SOURCE: Science Daily