The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research states that 92% of adults with teeth have developed cavities at some point during their lives. Unfortunately, 26% of these adults don’t seek professional treatment. In addition to this, 5% of adults from ages 20 to 64 have no teeth at all. While cavities aren’t always the reason for tooth loss, they’re one of the biggest contributing factors. Not surprisingly, many people have wondered, “Can you cure cavities?”
According to the University of Washington, contrary to what dentists have said for years, the answer may very well be “Yes.”
The general consensus in dentistry is when you lose enamel, it’s gone for good. But what if you can repair it?
In 2018, Mehmet Sarikaya, a professor of materials science and engineering, chemical engineering and oral health sciences at the University of Washington, led a groundbreaking study. It proved cavities may be cured by a biogenic dental product containing peptide.
Every revolutionary development in the sciences begins with a problem. In this case, tooth decay may seem like the obvious target. However, researchers had to dig deeper to discover how cavities form, how this formation alters the structure of affected teeth and what other oral health problems may develop alongside cavities.
Professor Sarikaya tells Parentology, “Demineralization, the loss of mineral content, is the major cause of all dental diseases, from cavities to gingivitis.”
Sarikaya and his team of interdisciplinary scientists, engineers and clinicians further expound on this problem in an article published by the ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering Journal. It describes dental care as a preventable disease that’s grown into a public health problem. Some of the early clinical signs of enamel demineralization include the following:
- Incipient caries (tooth decay)
- White spot lesions
Sarikaya advocates for the use of natural materials to treat weaknesses in tooth enamel. These substances use native proteins that mimic the natural process of remineralization. The active ingredient is an amelogenin-derived peptide (ADP).
The professor put this to the test in his lab. To do this, he replicated the demineralization process to create artificial lesions on a tooth. He then provided the remineralization treatment both in vitro on the
The Bottom Line
According to Colgate, up to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist out of fear. Americans also put off seeing the dentist because of the rising dental and healthcare costs. Relying on more natural ingredients that manufacturers can include in toothpaste and other over-the-counter (OTC) and clinical oral care products could provide solutions to both these problems.
Can You Cure Cavities: Sources
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
University of Washington: Peptide Product May Cure Cavities
ACS: Biomimetic Tooth Repair
Colgate: What is Dental Anxiety/Phobia?