Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems faced by both children and adults in the UK
Treating a rotting tooth by root canal surgery or fillings are among a few of the procedures that most people find intimidating and unpleasant.
These sometimes painful experiences could soon be over.
A team of US scientists have discovered a new way to treat tooth decay; this can be done by beaming the affected tooth or teeth with a laser that triggers an immediate recovery effect, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The innovative technique has so far only been applied to lab rats, but researchers believe the process and outcomes would be similar in humans.
When a decaying tooth is exposed to a laser beam over a period of five minutes, the tooth starts to heal itself due to the activation of a chemical in the oral cavity that stimulates stem cells within the tooth. Once these stem cells are at work, they start producing dentine – the hard core of a tooth which is prone to rotting away – completing the process in about three months. The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
According to lead researcher Praveen Arany, of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research in Maryland, the technique could be tested on people in the near future and its success may spell the end of dentures, which are often considered to be a worse option than natural teeth. However, some types of tooth decay may still need to be treated with fillings, Arany said.
Learn how to clean your teeth to get the perfect smile and prevent tooth decay.
Can teeth repair themselves? A team of researchers at King’s College London have developed a completely painless method to reverse tooth decay by encouraging teeth to repair themselves.
The method is still a long way off wide-spread commercial use but scientists believe that the technology could mean that cavities no longer need to be treated with drilling and fillings, particularly cavities in young children.
Nearly 26,000 primary school children were admitted to hospital for treatment of tooth decay in the past 12 months, making the condition the most common reason for hospitalisation of children between the ages of five and nine, new research shows.
Statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, published in the Sunday Times, reveal that the number of primary school children admitted to hospital for tooth decay rose from 22,574 in 2010-11 to 25,812 in 2013-14.