Tooth Regrowth Medicine Heading To Clinical Trials

Tooth regrowth is being tested on humans that never developed their adult teeth.

By Jessica Goudreault | Published

Ed Helms without his implant tooth in The Hangover

If you are looking to regrow your smile, then you could be in luck in the very near future. In Tokyo, Japan, a research team is hard at work on a groundbreaking tooth regrowth medicine that could allow people to grow more teeth, according to The Mainichi. The team is aiming to start clinical trials in July 2024, and it could be ready for the general public to use by 2030.

Currently, tooth regrowth medicine is not meant for just anybody, but it is intended for those who don’t have all of their adult teeth due to congenital factors. About one percent of the population suffers from anodontia, a condition that keeps people from growing a full set of adult teeth. One-tenth of this population is missing six or more adult teeth, making it very difficult for them to chew, swallow, and speak properly.

One of the most important parts of tooth regrowth research has been studying a certain gene in mice. Researchers found that when mice lacked this specific gene, they were able to grow more teeth. Based on this information, researchers conducted experiments to neutralize a protein inhibiting this gene, allowing the mice to grow new teeth.

The lead researcher behind the tooth regrowth research team is Katsu Takahashi, who works at the Medical Research Institute Kitano Hospital in the city of Osaka. He received his dentistry degree before studying molecular biology at Kyoto University and then headed to the United States for even more studying on the subject. His goal since graduate school has been to develop this medicine, and he feels confident that it will work.

Chelsea Peretti missing teeth on Brooklyn 99

In 2021, the research team published a scientific paper in the United States about this project. This led to lots of attention around the exciting possibility of the new tooth regrowth medicine.

The researchers are now getting ready to move from mice experiments to human trials. If all goes well, then children aged two to six can start using the tooth regrowth medicine. It will be best to start the regrowth early on in a person’s life so that they don’t have to struggle with chewing and the other issues that come with a lack of teeth.

While missing teeth is certainly an issue for humans, there is also the opposite problem for another one percent of the population, which is called hyperdontia. This is a condition that can cause a person to have more teeth than normal. In some cases, it allows the person to grow a third set of teeth after their baby teeth and adult teeth have fallen out.

If this new tooth regrowth medicine is a success, then it can be a great, more natural alternative to dentures and tooth implants, which can also be painful and expensive. However, we really want to know how this will affect the tooth fairy’s rates and if she will be able to keep up with the increased demand for tooth money.