The world’s first tooth-regrowing drug has been approved for human trials

I remember being a child and seeing my grandmother for the first time without dentures. It was a sad experience. Now, my dad has prosthetics, so genetically speaking, I haven’t needed mine for several decades. However, thanks to a new drug about to enter human trials, it is possible that modern medicine will solve the problem of missing teeth by then.

Medicine restores teeth in the truest sense of the word and developed by a group of Japanese researchers, . The study was led by Katsu Takahashi, head of dentistry and oral surgery at Kitano Hospital. The intravenous drug inactivates the uterine sensitization-associated gene-1 (USAG-1) protein, which inhibits tooth growth. Blocking USAG-1 from interacting with other proteins triggers bone growth, and voila, you’ve got yourself some new chompers. Pretty cool, right?

Human trials begin in September, but the drug has been highly successful in treating ferrets and mice and has done its job without serious side effects. Of course, the usual caveats apply. Although researchers are confident it will work on homo sapiens, humans are not mice or ferrets. This comes from the 97 percent similarity in how the USAG-1 protein works when comparing humans to other species.

The September clinical trial will include adults with at least one molar, but a second trial is forthcoming. . All children in the second trial will have at least four missing teeth due to congenital tooth deficiency. Finally, a third trial will focus on older adults who are missing “one to five permanent teeth due to environmental factors.”

Takahashi and his fellow researchers are so optimistic about the drug that they predict it will be available to everyday consumers by 2030. So in six years we can ditch our toothbrushes and eat sweets all day and all night without a care in the world. (actually don’t.)

Although this is the first drug that can fully restore missing teeth, the science behind it is based on years of research. Takahashi has been working on it since 2005, after all. Includes recent advances in this field. to repair diseased teeth and stem cell technology .

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