Curing Cavities With Peptides
Researchers at the University of Washington recently discovered that toothpaste containing peptides made from the protein amelogenin reverse tooth decay, restoring damaged tooth enamel. How do peptides work to prevent and repair decay?
Amelogenin is a critical protein used during the construction of tooth enamel. By deriving smaller amino acid chains from this protein, molecules called peptides, the researchers created a substance that “recruits” calcium and phosphorus molecules, binding them to damaged tooth enamel. In effect, the peptide attaches to teeth and “biomineralizes” them by promoting new mineral growth to restrengthen the teeth. Study co-author Deniz Yucesoy says, “These peptides are proven to bind onto tooth surfaces and recruit calcium and phosphate ions.” Study lead author Mehmet Sarikaya of the University of Washington thus concluded: “Remineralization guided by peptides is a healthy alternative to current dental care” for people of all ages to prevent tooth decay and cavities. The study suggested the best use of this naturally occurring peptide would be to make it an added ingredient to toothpastes. This would make it widely accessible to as many people as possible.
Although peptide toothpastes are not available right now, if this ingredient passes federal testing, expect to see it in future home dental care products. In the meantime, continue your good routine of brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing your teeth at least once daily. And always include semi-annual visits to the Yuba City Dentistry Group as part of your yearly schedule to ensure good oral health.