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Dhaka Tribune

Revolutionary dental breakthrough: Tooth regrowth medicine in the works

  • Trials to begin in July 2024
  • Tooth regrowth in animals achieved
Update : 04 Sep 2023, 04:52 PM

Japanese scientists are on the verge of a medical breakthrough involving potential tooth regrowth treatment. 

They are set to commence clinical trials in July 2024 following decades of dedicated research. If these trials become successful, the medicines could become available as early as 2030.

A team from Japan's Kitano Hospital's Medical Research Institute is leading the trials, reports Euronews.

The trial will begin by focusing on children with anodontia, a rare genetic condition that stops baby teeth from growing. 

Next, they will target adults with similar issues and those with common dental problems like gum disease and abnormal tooth growth. 

Katsu Takahashi, the head of the dentistry department at Medical Research Institute Kitano Hospital said: "The idea of growing new teeth is every dentist's dream. I have been working on this since I was a graduate student. I was confident I would be able to make it happen."

This innovative dentistry project, supported by Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), intends to provide a therapeutic drug to people with congenital edentulism (those missing some or all of their teeth) through collaboration with over 10 medical institutions and research centres across Japan, reads the clinic’s website.

“We believe that this research will clarify the mechanism of the disease (congenital Anodontia) for you and many other patients and contribute to the development of a cure.”

The research team achieved tooth regrowth in animals by targeting a gene called USAG-1, which normally limits tooth growth. They created a medicine that blocks USAG-1, leading to the growth of "third-generation" teeth in mice and ferrets.

The promising results were published in the scientific journal Nature in 2021, capturing the attention of the global scientific community.

A drug to regrow teeth would be revolutionary, providing an alternative solution for individuals who have lost their teeth due to severe cavities or dental diseases.

Work is now underway to get the drug ready for human use. Once its safety and efficacy are ensured, the focus will be on treating children aged 2 to 6 who display signs of anodontia, reported the Mainichi.

Dr Takahashi envisions a future where tooth-regrowth medicine becomes a viable third option alongside dentures and implants, offering individuals a chance to regain their natural teeth.

"We hope to pave the way for the medicine's clinical use," Takahashi said.

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