Enamel is the ultra-thin outer covering on your teeth that works to protect the delicate tissue inside. However, in the absence of proper oral hygiene, lack of dental cleanings, or wrong dietary choices, the tooth enamel can wear away. This deterioration will make teeth sensitive to cold and hot temperatures, as well as adversely affect their natural aesthetic appearance.
Many patients with this condition ask their dentist, “Can you regenerate tooth enamel?” As of now, tooth enamel regeneration is not a possibility, but ongoing research in this area is showing promising results. According to some researchers, the day is not far when it will become possible to regrow tooth enamel.
Does Tooth Enamel Regenerate?
Tooth enamel is not a natural living tissue. It is mostly a mineralized substance called hydroxyapatite that does not regenerate naturally. Therefore, scientists are finding it hard to replicate this substance. However, researchers at Japan’s Kinki University are adapting this material into thin layers of film. Dentists in the future will be able to wrap this film around the tooth to act as an enamel substitute. While this is an encouraging start, this solution does not regenerate tooth enamel.
Future Holds Promise
Can dentists regenerate tooth enamel at some future point in time? Perhaps. Professor Janet Moradian-Oldak at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC is working on developing a unique hydrogel capable of triggering the regeneration of enamel on the surface of teeth, as well as the remineralization of dentin.
Dr. Moradian-Oldak bases this patented hydrogel on a peptide called chitosan amelogenin, which could regenerate the aprismatic-like thin layer on teeth. Humans and animals use this peptide to produce dental enamel naturally.
She explains that the gel could incorporate peptides, and if a practitioner applies this substance to teeth, it could eliminate hypersensitivity and restore tooth health previously diminished by early cavities. Research teams are now preparing to test whether this hydrogel solution may also work to remineralize the dentin. She currently has three grants to continue her research.
Remineralize Your Tooth Enamel
At this moment, natural tooth enamel regeneration may not be possible, but enamel remineralization is still achievable. According to Mark Wolff, Professor of Dentistry at NYU, the secret weapon is old reliable, fluoride.
While acidic substances force phosphates and calcium out of your teeth to weaken the enamel, fluoride works to capture these minerals from saliva and pushes them back into the teeth. In that sense, fluoride works well to strengthen existing enamel. Moreover, dentists add a plastic sealant to your teeth that bonds to enamel, and this practice provides an added layer of protection from decay.
The Bottom Line
Until enamel regeneration becomes a reality, preserving your existing enamel is your best option. Correctly and regularly brushing and flossing, as well as periodic dental cleanings, are vital to your dental hygiene. Also, maintaining a healthy diet protects your enamel, so avoid sweets and carbonated drinks to minimize the risk of enamel erosion.
Do you think quality dental work is out of your price range? Think again! At Florida Dental Solutions, we provide comprehensive, high-quality dental work at affordable prices. Call us at 954-362-4102 to book an appointment to have your teeth cleaned and your enamel protected.