A recent study has been released out of Japan, stating that we may be one step closer to the possibility of being able to take a drug which would allow a person’s teeth to re-grow. We are all familiar with the concept of having baby teeth, losing those and then having our adult teeth, and in some cases having to lose those as well.
This new research study is focusing on individuals with congenital conditions that have resulted in the trial subjects having anodontia [medical term for no teeth].The current medical treatment for individuals with conditions that have resulted in having anodontia is to either have dental implants installed, and/or dentures placed.
Dr. Katsu Takahashi, head of the dentistry and oral surgery department at the Medical Research Institute Kitano Hospital, has been working on the drug since his graduate student days, in the early nineties. The research team has already successfully stimulated the growth of “third-generation” teeth. Following the first round, baby teeth and then permanent adult teeth – in animal models by targeting a gene called USAG-1, which has been found to limit tooth growth in mice.
By developing a neutralising antibody medicine that blocks the action of USAG-1, Takahashi’s team induced tooth regrowth in mice and ferrets.
Dr Takahashi envisions a future where tooth-regrowth medicine becomes a viable third option alongside dentures and implants for all individuals and not just those with congenital defects.
Clinical trials are set to begin in July of 2024 with dentists being able to access this ground-breaking medication as early as 2030.