Every year, dental spending adds up to over $120 billion nationally. A large portion of that goes toward fixing or replacing teeth.
Procedures such as cavity fillings, dental crowns, and tooth-loss solutions like dentures and bridges can be costly. Fortunately, they might not be necessary in the future.
New research shows that regrowing teeth is possible. More studies and testing still need to be conducted, but this development could change dental care in the coming years.
Read on to discover more about this promising research.
It’s long been conventional wisdom that you can’t regrow teeth or tooth enamel. However, recent developments in dental research suggest that someday this might not be true. Promising work with stem cells has allowed scientists to grow tooth pulp in dogs.
In the future, this development could allow humans to regrow part of damaged teeth and avoid procedures such as root canals and fillings.
Stem cell research could potentially lead to preventing tooth loss or regrow teeth lost to decay or accident. This research is still new, so it will likely be years or even decades before this breakthrough might be applied to human teeth.
Stem cell dental implants could allow parts of teeth to regrow. Scientists have shown that stimulating the stem cells within the pulp of teeth can cause the regrowth of dentin. This makes it possible for cavities to reverse without the need for fillings.
A similar technique could potentially be used to help regrow entire teeth. Stem cells could be used to create a tooth in the earliest stages of growth, called a tooth primordium. The primordium could be implanted into gums to replace a missing tooth.
However, while the stem cells needed to regrow dentin are already inside adult teeth, the stem cells needed to create a tooth primordium have been found only in embryos.
Scientists need to conduct more research to find another source for these specific stem cells. Once a source is found, it’s possible that stem cells could be used to regrow teeth.
Some people claim to have had success restoring their teeth with home methods. Yet, these methods have not been proven and are not backed by scientific research. Also, these methods have not been verified to regrow teeth:
- cutting down on sugar
- cutting down on potatoes and other foods high in starch
- cutting down on grains and nuts
- adding healthy fats to your diet
- drinking bone broth
- taking fish oil or cod liver oil supplements
- taking vitamin D supplements
- using remineralizing toothpaste
- using the oil pulling method
Consider talking with a dentist, doctor, or another medical professional before trying these methods. While some tips, such as cutting down on sugar, are generally recommended for oral health, others might not be a good idea for everyone. For example, some people might need whole grains and nuts as part of their diet.
Also, though people have reported success with methods such as oil pulling or supplements, there is no solid scientific evidence to support their use or safety. If you notice signs that your teeth are getting worse, such as pain or bleeding gums, stop the method and talk with a dentist.
It’s a good idea to be cautious when trying any of these methods. While there may be other health benefits to these practices, they will not regrow teeth.
If you add them, you’ll want to continue to follow with brushing and flossing, which is still the best way to take care of your teeth.
Tips for healthy teeth
Keeping your teeth healthy is an important part of your overall health. You can maintain a healthy smile by:
- brushing at least twice a day
- using a toothpaste with fluoride in it
- brushing your tongue
- flossing every day
- drinking plenty of water
- reducing the amount of sugar and acid your consume
- having regular dental cleanings and checkups
Currently, missing teeth can’t be regrown. Options such as dental implants, bridges, and dentures can act as artificial replacements for missing teeth.
The right option for you will depend on how much decay and damage has occurred, how many teeth you’ve lost, your overall health, and your budget.
Sometimes, a missing tooth will cause you little trouble. You might not need to address a missing tooth in the back of your mouth if you’re not having any pain or difficulties. However, multiple missing teeth or missing teeth in more central locations can cause a variety of issues.
Depending on your tooth loss, this could include trouble with speech and eating. This could also lead to increased tooth sensitivity, additional cavities, and faster tooth decay. Also, missing teeth can cause trouble in your jaw and facial muscles.
Talk with a dentist about any concerns you have. They’ll be able to recommend ways to keep your teeth healthy and prevent further tooth decay. They’ll let you know what your options are.
Options could include fillings, root canals, dental implants, and more. Following your dentist’s advice and treatment plan might prevent further damage and decay to your teeth and might help you avoid additional tooth loss.
Scientists are developing methods that could allow humans to regrow teeth in the future. Stem cells have been used to fill cavities and encourage tissue regrowth naturally. This development is still new and needs more research before it will be available to humans. In the meantime, you can take steps to protect your teeth. It’s best to brush at least twice a day, floss, drink plenty of water, and visit your dentist regularly.