How An Alzheimer’s Medicine May Repair Teeth Cavities

No one likes to have a cavity filled. It is uncomfortable, not to mention expensive. When you get a cavity filled, this process essentially prevents further tooth decay. The affected area is filled with a material such as composite resin, porcelain, or even gold. However, based on on a recent discovery, this may not be the only solution.

While studying Tideglusib, a developmental Alzheimer’s drug, researchers found that it supported the natural tooth regrowth mechanism in mice. In turn, this allowed teeth to naturally and effectively repair cavities.

Tideglusib Stimulates Stem Cells

Tooth anatomy is fairly complex, as each tooth has three layers. The outer surface is known as your enamel, then there is the middle layer of dentin, and finally the inner layer of pulp. Dentin is the substance below the tooth enamel that slowly gets deteriorated by tooth decay.

Although teeth can naturally regenerate dentin without any assistance, it will only do so under certain and generally extreme circumstances. The drug Tideglusib works by stimulating stem cells in the pulp, which is the source of new dentin. By turning off the GSK-3 enzyme — which typically stops dentin from forming — regrowth is triggered.

In the study, the researchers inserted tiny, biodegradable sponges in cavities. Made of collagen, the sponges had been soaked in Tideglunsib. This triggered the growth of dentin, and after six weeks, the damage was repaired. The collagen melted away, resulting in an intact tooth.

These results have only been observed in mice teeth, and based on the simplicity of this approach, it would be an ideal solution when aiming to treat large cavities.

The Connection Between Dental Health and Alzheimer’s

While on this topic, it is important to discuss the significance of optimal dental health. Researchers have long studied the relationship between dental health and brain health. In particular, researchers have examined the connection between gum disease and Alzheimer’s risk.

A team at the University of Central Lancashire studied the brain tissue of ten deceased Alzheimer’s patients. They also examined ten people the same age who did not suffer from Alzheimer’s. What they were interested in was whether or not the brain tissue displayed three major forms of bacteria associated with periodontal disease.

One of the types of bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis, was found in four of the ten brains of those who had Alzheimer’s. In contrast, none of the brains from the control group displayed signs of bacteria. Their theory was that the bacteria enter the bloodstream before reaching the brain. In turn, this may trigger the immune system in the brain.

Maintain Your Dental Health to Protect Your Brain

While studying gum disease, researchers from Columbia University Medical Center also confirmed a possible connection between dental health and cognition. Looking at 2,355 men and women over the age of 60, the researchers found that those who had the highest levels of a bacterium associated with gum disease were more likely to display poor verbal memory. They also did poorly on a serial subtraction test in comparison to those with low levels of the same bacterium.

The researchers concluded that dental health is associated with mental health. Since gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, it is also believed to increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and more. To protect your overall well-being and neural health, please consider the following tips.

  • Be regular with your routine — Be sure to brush and floss twice daily using a soft toothbrush. Also, replace your toothbrush every three to four months. If the bristles become frayed, replace sooner.

  • Visit your dentist — Every six months or so, a regular cleaning is recommended. If you have a history of gum disease, every four months is ideal.

  • Know the signs — Are your gums swollen? Do they bleed when you brush? These are all signs of gum disease and are a clear indication that action should be taken.

  • Eat well — Nutritional deficiencies can significantly affect your gums. Consume plenty of vitamin-rich fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Also, rub coconut oil on your gums.

If you are concerned about the potential early warning signs of Alzheimer’s, you can easily detect and access any cognitive changes using the BrainTest® app. Start your free trial today

Krista Hillis has a B.A.Sc degree, specializing in neuroscience and psychology. She is actively involved in the mental health and caregiving community, aiming to help others. Krista is also passionate about nutrition and the ways in which lifestyle choices affect and influence the human brain.

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