Tooth Regrowth: A  GAME- CHANGER for Dentistry

Dream of every dentist -replacing a natural tooth with a natural one
Anodontia is the condition of  complete absence of teeth , as they lack  developing tooth  bud and the condition often appears alongside genetic disorders, like ectodermal dysplasia. (Wikimedia commons)
Anodontia is the condition of complete absence of teeth , as they lack developing tooth bud and the condition often appears alongside genetic disorders, like ectodermal dysplasia. (Wikimedia commons)

What if we say you can regrow your teeth just like your hair and nails? Yes, what you heard is correct. It’s a known fact that there are only two sets of dentition in human life: primary dentition, i.e., milk teeth that erupt after birth, and permanent dentition, which are successors of the primary dentition. Once a permanent tooth is lost, it’s gone forever! However, new research is going to commence on the regrowth of a lost tooth or missing permanent teeth. This is something most of the patients with missing teeth or suffering from Anodontia might be waiting for. Nobody wants a foreign material to be placed in their mouth, moreover, no material can replace a human tooth structure, especially the enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body. So being able to regrow natural human teeth will be a game-changer.

Radiograph showing two sets of teeth i,e primary and permanent dentition.(WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Radiograph showing two sets of teeth i,e primary and permanent dentition.(WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Focusing the same, a clinical trial is being conducted by research institutions centered on Kitano Hospital and Tregem by Biopharma Co., Ltd. With the support of the Japan Medical Research and Development Agency (AMED). Head of Research Katsu Takahashi from Kitano Hospital Dental and Oral Surgery, Medical Research Institute said, “We are currently supported by the Japan National Institute for Medical Research and Development (AMED), more than 10 medical institutions nationwide, mainly the Kitano Hospital of the Institute of Medicine, and research institutions and Tregem Biopharma, "treatment for congenital toothless patients. I'm aiming to deliver the medicine." We are conducting an industry-government-academia collaboration project.

Clinical  trails to introduce therapeutic drug for teeth regrowth are being  carried out in Japana.(PEXELS)
Clinical trails to introduce therapeutic drug for teeth regrowth are being carried out in Japana.(PEXELS)

The official protocol and timeline of the research are given on the website(https://www.kitano-hp.or.jp/toothreg/research/index.html) along the hypothesized mechanism of the drug is explained (https://www.kitano-hp.or.jp/toothreg/index.html).

Takahashi and his team published an article in February 2021. “Anti–USAG-1 therapy for tooth regeneration through enhanced BMP signaling.” In this they explained their hypothesized mechanism of teeth regrowth and the genes involved.

Image showing the hypothesized tooth regrowth mechanism.
Image showing the hypothesized tooth regrowth mechanism.Dr.Meghana Pasala, Orthodontist, Andhra Pradesh

Uterine sensitization-associated gene-1 (USAG-1) is a bifunctional protein acting against BMP and Wnt ( signaling molecules required for tooth development). A deficiency of USAG-1 leads to increased BMP signaling molecules that would further enhance tooth formation. In this research, they introduced antibodies that interfere with the binding of USAG-1 to BMP but not lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5/6 (LRP5/6), to accelerate the development of a tooth. So it was hypothesized that USAG-1 plays key regulatory roles in suppressing tooth development, but its role in congenital tooth agenesis remains unknown.

Clinical trails on mouse showed succesful results on teeth regrowth.(Representational Image: PEXELS)
Clinical trails on mouse showed succesful results on teeth regrowth.(Representational Image: PEXELS)

If this study yields promising results in human clinical trials, it could be immensely beneficial for young patients suffering from genetic disorders affecting tooth development. Moreover, adults or older individuals who often present to clinics with multiple missing teeth or even a complete absence of teeth, due to various reasons, would also benefit. Currently, the conventional treatment for such cases involves the provision of an acrylic complete denture or an implant-supported denture. However, these methods come with various risks and limitations, especially depending on bone health. If tooth regrowth becomes a viable treatment option, many of these risks can be avoided. However, it's imperative that dental practitioners understand and correctly implement the drug's generalization and specific application to individual patients. Another consideration is the time required for tooth regrowth and its associated costs. The affordability and duration of the treatment remain uncertain.

 (Rehash/Dr. Meghana Pasala)

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