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.