Did you know there’s a new type of dental filling that actually triggers your teeth to repair and regenerate themselves? It’s true. Researchers from Harvard University and the University of Nottingham recently developed a procedure known as stem cell fillings. In essence, it’s a regenerative dental filling that prompts the stem cells inside a person’s own tooth to heal itself. This is a revolutionary dental health discovery that could make the dreaded root canal a dental procedure of the past.
It’s a very common belief that existing tooth decay and cavities cannot be reversed, but that’s never actually been true. The practice of drilling a tooth and filling it with a synthetic material is not the only or the best way to address cavities. Similarly, a root canal is not necessarily a must; there are natural ways to avoid this intense dental procedure.
One of the newest and best ways might just be stem cell fillings. This new approach could impact the lives of millions of dental patients and heal teeth when they are injured from dental disease or dental surgery, two very common health concerns.
How Do Stem Cell Fillings Work?
Adam Celiz, PhD, research fellow at the University of Nottingham, explains:
Existing dental fillings are toxic to cells and are therefore incompatible with pulp tissue inside the tooth. We have designed synthetic biomaterials that can be used similarly to dental fillings but can be placed in direct contact with pulp tissue to stimulate the native stem cell population for repair and regeneration of pulp tissue and the surrounding dentin. (1)
In short, the biomaterial filling would allow the tooth to heal itself.
Typically, the pulp of the tooth and the nerve are removed during a root canal. I know, it doesn’t sound too enjoyable. And unfortunately, it can often be quite painful. The good news is that if stem cell fillings become the norm, then fillings made of synthetic biomaterials would be inserted that stimulate dental stem cells to repair and regenerate dentin. Dentin is the bony tissue that forms the majority of the tooth under the enamel.
The researchers believe that if stem cell fillings are used in a damaged tooth, then the tooth’s own stem cells will repair the disease and damage that typically requires a root canal by today’s common dental standards. This could also help dental patients avoid other dangerous chemicals typically found in composite dental fillings and sealants. BPA and related estrogenic chemicals often used in fillings can break down in the mouth, exposing patients to hormone-disrupting chemicals and even the carcinogen formaldehyde. (2)
Natural Ways to Heal Cavities & Avoid Root Canals
By reversing cavities naturally, you’re not only avoiding fillings, you can also avoid root canals. The common reasons that you might need a root canal include having a deep cavity, having a cracked tooth, repeated dental treatment to the tooth or trauma. Want to avoid the need for a painful root canal? Then you must eliminate tooth decay through good nutrition and proper oral hygiene.
While it may take some time for the stem cell fillings technology to hit your dentist’s office, there are things you can do now to avoid root canals and cavities.
- Remove Sugar —Not only does sugar feed oral bacteria that prevents a healthy flow of dental fluids, it’s highly acidic and can literally decalcify or demineralize the structural content of teeth that create dental decay. (3)
- Consume Raw Dairy — Raw dairy is a much healthier choice than conventional dairy. Raw dairy products are loaded with vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthy dental fluid flow and help maintain strong teeth and promote oral wellness. I recommend avoiding low-fat dairy and choosing full fat instead.
- Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods — In order to beat tooth decay, you definitely need to increase your fat-soluble vitamin intake and mineral intake.
- Use Mineralizing Toothpaste — Check out my recipe for Homemade Remineralizing Toothpaste.
- Start Oil Pulling — To remove bacteria and promote healthy teeth and gums, make coconut oil pulling a regular habit.
Final Thoughts on Stem Cell Fillings
Stem cells are defined as cells that have the ability to divide and develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. Stem cells can also help repair the body, or in this case a dental disease or injury, by dividing to replenish cells that are damaged by disease, injury, or normal wear. (4)
The research is looking very promising for the use of tooth stem cells in dental patients. So promising in fact that it earned second place in the materials category at the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Emerging Technologies Competition 2016.
Hopefully, this type of treatment might be an option to the public in the very near future. Imagine being able to regenerate components of your own teeth. We’re potentially looking at a much brighter future of dentistry where damaged teeth could actually heal themselves, lower filling failure rates and the need for most root canals could even be eliminated all together.