Dentures may soon be a thing of the past as scientists in Kyoto University and the University of Fukui are working on developing a monoclonal antibody treatment that triggers the body to grow new teeth.
Researchers have not run tests on humans just yet, but have experienced success with mice. The genes that influence tooth growth have a heavy impact on body development, which makes this challenge particularly finicky.
Eventually, the team was able to block a gene called USAG-1, which led to increased activity of Bone Morphogenic Protein (BMP), a molecule that determines how many teeth will grow in the first place. This allowed adult mice to regrow any teeth they were missing.
Researchers were also successful with ferrets, which is significant because their teeth are more human-like than mouse teeth are. If the team continues to experience success in upcoming trials with larger animals, then clinical treatment that allows us to regrow missing teeth may soon be available to us.
For more information on this fascinating breakthrough, click here.