Say goodbye to dentures! Scientists are developing a new drug that can regenerate lost TEETH in mice and ferrets
- Researchers developed antibodies that suppress a gene called USAG-1
- They found that targeting this gene allowed a lost tooth to regrow completely
- Trials were successful in mice and ferrets and the next step is to test it on pigs
A genetic treatment has been discovered that can grow teeth and offer hope to the millions of people with dentures.
Suppression of the USAG-1 gene with antibody treatment has been shown to regrow teeth.
The antibody treatment targets the single gene and therefore stimulates tooth growth. In studies with mice and ferrets, missing teeth were found to regrow completely.
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Antibody treatment targets the USAG-1 gene and stimulates tooth growth. In studies with mice and ferrets, missing teeth were found to grow back (photo)
Researchers in Japan at the universities of Kyoto and Fukui looked at the molecules known to be involved in tooth growth.
Some of these chemicals are also involved in the growth of other organs, so it’s difficult to find a gene that targets teeth only.
However, the researchers thought that the gene USAG-1 – uterine sensitization-associated gene-1 – could be a viable target.
“We knew that suppressing USAG-1 benefits tooth growth. What we didn’t know was whether it would be enough, ”said study author Katsu Takahashi of Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine.
Monoclonal antibodies targeting USAG-1 were given to animals in a single dose and were sufficient to regenerate an entire tooth.
After successful experiments with mice, the researchers took to ferrets, a more complex animal with similar tooth patterns to humans.
“Our next plan is to test the antibodies on other animals, such as pigs and dogs,” says Dr. Takahashi.
Current treatments for tooth loss are limited to dentures and other forms of artificial tooth replacement.
Current treatments for tooth loss are limited to dentures and other forms of artificial tooth replacement. However, they are not permanent and are often expensive, while being inferior to real teeth
However, they are not permanent and are often expensive while being inferior to real teeth.
“Conventional tissue engineering is not suitable for tooth regeneration,” adds Manabu Sugai of Fukui University, another author of the study.
“Our study shows that cell-free molecular therapy is effective for a wide variety of congenital tooth agenesis.”
The study is published in Science Advances
Adults suffering from gum disease are TWICE times more likely to have high blood pressure, the study warns
People with severe gum disease are twice as likely to have high blood pressure, according to a new study.
A study of 250 people with periodontal disease – serious gum disease – found that people with the condition are 2.3 times more likely to have systolic blood pressure higher than 140 mm Hg, the medical threshold for hypertension.
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that often causes bleeding and can lead to loss of teeth or bones.
Researchers at University College London studied both systolic and diastolic blood pressure – how much force the blood has when the heart contracts and relaxes, respectively.
Both readings are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and people with gum disease have an average of 3.36 mm Hg higher systolic pressure.
Their diastolic blood pressure is also increased by 2.16 mm Hg compared to those in impeccable dental health.
Among orally healthy people, only 7 percent of people had a systolic blood pressure of more than 140 mm Hg.
This figure doubles to 14 percent among people with gum disease.