Skip to content
Stanford University School of Medicine

Scientists develop hormone gel to heal teeth from within

So far, I've managed to avoid the unpleasant experience of having my dentist drill into a tooth to fill a cavity or perform a root canal. And, now there's a possibility I may never have to know such discomfort.

A new gel containing a peptide known as MHS, or melanocyte-stimulating hormone, encourages cells inside teeth to regenerate and could one day eliminate the need for dentists to drill into a tooth to remove decay. That's according to findings published in the journal ACS Nano.

Popular Science reports:

A dentist would place a dab of the gel near a cavity, where it would encourage cells to grow, healing the tooth from within...A team of French scientists tested the gel on mice that had cavities. After about a month, the cavities had disappeared...Not only did new tooth cells grow, but they were also stronger...

Along with preventing drill-related discomfort, tooth regeneration could have physiological benefits. Drilling into teeth can destroy nerve cells and blood vessels, so replacing dead or diseased cells with new tissue would be a dramatic improvement.

Keep in mind that it will be a while before such technology is routine in dentist offices. So the best way to evade the dreaded dentist drill is regular brushing and flossing.

Photo by Conor Lawless

Popular posts