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posted by martyb on Thursday January 12 2017, @06:31PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the something-to-chew-on dept.

King's College London researchers have found a method of stimulating the stem cells inside of teeth in order to generate new dentine mineral, potentially reducing the need to use man-made materials to treat cavities:

A new method of stimulating the renewal of living stem cells in tooth pulp using an Alzheimer's drug has been discovered by a team of researchers at King's College London. Following trauma or an infection, the inner, soft pulp of a tooth can become exposed and infected. In order to protect the tooth from infection, a thin band of dentine is naturally produced and this seals the tooth pulp, but it is insufficient to effectively repair large cavities. Currently dentists use man-made cements or fillings, such as calcium and silicon-based products, to treat these larger cavities and fill holes in teeth. This cement remains in the tooth and fails to disintegrate, meaning that the normal mineral level of the tooth is never completely restored.

However, in a paper published today in Scientific Reports, scientists from the Dental Institute at King's College London have proven a way to stimulate the stem cells contained in the pulp of the tooth and generate new dentine – the mineralised material that protects the tooth - in large cavities, potentially reducing the need for fillings or cements.

Promotion of natural tooth repair by small molecule GSK3 antagonists (open, DOI: 10.1038/srep39654) (DX)


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @06:41PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @06:41PM (#453004)

    Fire every dentist over 30. Only young dentists are young enough to understand stem cells.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday January 12 2017, @06:46PM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday January 12 2017, @06:46PM (#453008) Journal

      Turn all fetuses into pulpy stem cells, and feed them to the old. In fact, kill everyone under 31 and use their tissues to repair the elites.

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @06:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @06:48PM (#453010)

        But every coder is under 31 years old! Without coders who will app our apps?

      • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Thursday January 12 2017, @06:49PM

        by ikanreed (3164) on Thursday January 12 2017, @06:49PM (#453011) Journal

        Counterpoint: murdering elites for their stemcells seems far better than appointing them to cabinet positions.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:03PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:03PM (#453015)

        Wasn't there a recent film about an immortal survivor of Pompeii who stays alive by becoming pregnant every 20 years and absorbing the stem cells of her unborn children?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_(2014_film) [wikipedia.org]

        Nope, can't mention that, 2014 was too recent for SN old people.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan%27s_Run_(film) [wikipedia.org]

        Ahhhhh, 1976. Much better.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:43PM

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:43PM (#453032) Journal

          Nope, can't mention that, 2014 was too recent for SN old people.

          Speaking of old, your schtick is very stale.

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          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:02PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:02PM (#453037)

            You mean my shtick isn't stale enough to appeal to geezers who remember the gay old days when George Carlin was alive.

        • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday January 12 2017, @10:38PM

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday January 12 2017, @10:38PM (#453100)

          Thanks for the link to that Wikipedia page for the Spring movie; now I don't have to watch it! Honestly, it sounds like an interesting premise but not well thought-out, and with a lame plot. She loses her immortality if she falls in love? Seriously? And she's 2000 years old? How exactly does she know this rather critical fact about her biology then, if she hasn't experienced it yet? Did some aliens tell her? And she's never fallen in love in 2000 years, but suddenly she spends the night chit-chatting with some dude and does, ending her 2-millenia streak of immortality? And then some volcano goes off near them to end the movie? Holy crap this sounds like a terrible plot.

          I think I'd rather watch Logan's Run. At least it was fun to watch with all its 70s campiness.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @01:28AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @01:28AM (#453142)

            Unfamiliar new thing, bad.

            Familiar old thing, good.

            Prejudice as predicted, confirmed.

      • (Score: 2) by Username on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:38PM

        by Username (4557) on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:38PM (#453051)
    • (Score: 1) by NewNic on Thursday January 12 2017, @10:45PM

      by NewNic (6420) on Thursday January 12 2017, @10:45PM (#453105) Journal

      In the USA, it won't matter. New dental treatments are typically used for years in Europe before they get approval in the USA.

      --
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  • (Score: 2) by Uncle_Al on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:13PM

    by Uncle_Al (1108) on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:13PM (#453019)

    real men have their teeth full of mercury

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amalgam_(dentistry) [wikipedia.org]

    but don't worry, Colgate says it's safe

    http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/procedures/fillings/article/dental-amalgam-a-health-risk [colgate.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:18PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:18PM (#453021)

      CHANGE PLACES!!!

    • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:55PM

      by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:55PM (#453063) Homepage Journal

      My materials science professor in school agreed with Colgate, although he also claimed that you could drink Mercury and not have an issue. I'm not terribly familiar with the bioavailablity of mercury, but I believe the liquid elemental form is poorly adsorbed.

      I would prefer metal fillings, as they do not need replacement as often. Unfortunately I doubt most dentist offices have the option any more, and additionally the dentist would likely be out of practice in working with the material.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:00PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:00PM (#453065)

        I wouldn't buy that argument. If it were actually true, then there'd be no point in lying to patients about what's being done to their bodies. Those fillings are mostly mercury, much of which goes missing over the first few years.

        Whats more, a lot of the fillings that are done are being done because the dentists failed to teach the patients how to keep their teeth strong and healthy. As in, they failed to teach the patients about proper nutrition, preferring to use the placebos of brushing and flossing even though there's no reason to think that they work. Yes, they do slow things down a bit, but bacteria are small and reproduce quickly. If your teeth aren't being properly fed, you're eventually going to get cavities. Similarly, flossing does pretty much nothing for the gums other than irritate them.

      • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Friday January 13 2017, @03:22AM

        by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Friday January 13 2017, @03:22AM (#453172) Journal

        Yeah, liquid Hg used to even be taken orally centuries ago for medical reasons (it's a known laxative). People rarely died from the treatments (though I wouldn't recommend it -- it does bioaccumulate and is a neurotoxin).

          Mercury is significantly more dangerous in vapor form (rapid absorption into bloodstream when inhaled), or in organic compounds (like the methyl mercury stuff found in fish and other even more toxic compounds).

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:21PM (#453022)

    Anyone else notice an uptick in "meme" type comments? Shall we truly devolve into a hybrid of reddit/4chan/wikipedia/ and, god forbid, youtube comments?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:26PM (#453027)

      Whut you talkin bout dudebro I don't even?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:34PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:34PM (#453030)

        These damn kids better get off my lawn I tell you hwut!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:40PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:40PM (#453031)

          You mean those damn hipster kids are disrupting your lawn with their apps! Why won't you drop dead old luddite your house is a dead zone in our mesh network. One of these nights we're just going to break into your place and install mesh nodes in your attic.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:19PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:19PM (#453073)

            Meanwhile in Soviet Russia...

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @01:32AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @01:32AM (#453143)

              ... networks join you!

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:45PM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:45PM (#453033) Journal

      Yeah, it's called trolling. On stories that typically get less than 20 comments, one troll can dominate with little effort.

      Game over, Soylent.

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      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:10PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:10PM (#453043)

        If you want a higher signal to noise ratio, go hang out with the cool kids over at Hacker News where Social Justice is queen, trolls get Zero Tolerance, and the kids literally do Show-And-Tell like a bunch of kindergartners.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:04PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:04PM (#453068)

        That's true and rather than let people mod whomever they like, the site has restrictions on how many times you can mod the same person in the same day.

        Which is rather ridiculous. If somebody is trolling with 5 posts, you should be able to downmod all of them. That kind of restriction unbalances things even further than just the limit on the number of mod points people get.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @08:08PM (#453042)

      NO. The meme market is real! I have well over a quadrillion dollars in it!!!!!!!!!111!!!!!

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:34PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:34PM (#453029)

    After you get cavities to fill themselves, do something about reversing gum recession without surgery. It's mind boggling how gum tissue just doesn't grow back on its own. It's soft tissue. Soft tissue should heal.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @07:59PM (#453036)

      Yes please!

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:07PM (#453069)

      It's soft tissue, but it has to connect to the tooth. That's the primary issue.

      I can understand why you're posting AC, it's controversial around here to acknowledge that the gums are pretty much the only thing that matters here. Without fixing the gums, there's not much point in fixing the teeth back to new in most cases. Teeth rarely get pulled because of severe cavities, they get pulled because the gums and jaw no longer secure them adequately.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Grishnakh on Thursday January 12 2017, @10:46PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday January 12 2017, @10:46PM (#453106)

        Perhaps a stem cell treatment could be applied to the gums to get them to regrow?

        Also, they're not talking about making teeth regrow from nothing, they're talking about getting existing teeth to regrow themselves to eliminate cavities (caries), so that you don't need to get a filling. It'd be great if they could make all-new teeth regrow themselves in places where people are missing them, but from TFS it looks like they're shooting for a much easier target, just making existing teeth self-repair.

  • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Thursday January 12 2017, @10:12PM

    by MostCynical (2589) on Thursday January 12 2017, @10:12PM (#453089) Journal

    so now you should be able to grow horns or tusks!

    --
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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @10:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @10:24PM (#453094)

      Billionaire hipsters will grow real unicorn horns.

    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday January 12 2017, @10:42PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday January 12 2017, @10:42PM (#453103)

      Antlers [dilbert.com] will be the next big fad.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @02:47AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @02:47AM (#453161)

      You joke, but as a kid in the 1960's in central Wisconsin my GF had a slightly older kid rub his hand all over her head one day. He was a Lutheran (or similar?) and had been told by some bigot that Jews had horns, he was puzzled to find a smooth head under the hair (she is Jewish and had thick curly hair).

      She got out of town as soon as she was able, left high school early to attend U Madison.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday January 13 2017, @03:38AM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday January 13 2017, @03:38AM (#453175)

      I'm thinking of rodent teeth sprouting out of the cavity holes - oh, so painful.

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