The End of Fillings? New "Liquid Enamel" Could Rescue Teeth

By Allison Bond | June 1, 2009 1:58 pm

teeth.jpgGood news for those who fear the dentist’s chair: Australian Nathan Cochrane at the Cooperative Research Centre for Oral Health Sciences has created a liquid that can re-grow tooth enamel, effectively curing cavities while you sleep.

It sounds awesome, but it only works if you catch the cavities before they start—long before any sign of a hole appears in the tooth. The liquid works because of a protein known as casein phosphopeptide, which can be isolated from cow’s milk. When this substance is mixed with calcium, phosphate, and fluoride ions, it forms a special liquid that can attach and seep into parts of the tooth enamel that need strengthening, helping any damaged enamel to re-grow. A tray will be used to keep saliva out, which can prevent the liquid from hardening properly inside damaged teeth.

Cochrane’s dental invention should be available within the next five years if the clinical trial goes as planned. And while growing totally new enamel from scratch is not possible now, with stem cell treatment, it may soon be.

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Image: flickr/ nmoira

  • Angela

    Yay! I hate getting fillings, and this would be a great (and less painful) alternative.

  • http://www.orgsites.com/ny/nyscof nyscof

    Sounds promising – except the fluoride part. The teeth need calcium; they don’t need fluoride – and neither does the rest of the body.

  • Peter

    I wonder how they stop it growing once it starts? Don’t think I will be first to try it!

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  • Jason

    Can it cause teeth to fuse together? It would be kind of interesting to have just two large teeth in your mouth

  • http://www.cincinnatiareadentist.com Dr. Smith

    There are already products on the market that will prevent “de-mineralized” enamel from becoming a cavity. Some contain sodium fluoride and some contain calcium phosphate–both of which will “re-mineralize” the enamel. MI Paste is one product without fluoride. Brush with it and then floss it between the teeth and the incidence cavities will be very low. It can also be “dabbed” onto the affected surface of the tooth and left over night. We prescribe it often in our Cincinnati Dental Practice for patients who have lots of cavities to prevent more cavities from forming. It works by replacing the calcium that has been “leached” from the enamel surface.

  • http://wolfiesworld.wordpress.com Wolfie Rankin

    Wait a minute, I used to watch Beyond 2000 in the 80’s, and they had a new invention which was made from Cows Milk and would prevent cavities, it was invented… again by an Australian, and the product would soon appear in chewing gum, but only chewing gum sold in the US.

    It never seemed to come to light.

    Just a little piece of history repeating?

    Wolfie!

  • Jeff

    This is stupid. Folks, want to save your teeth. I’ve been through it all. First, regarding the article, the DDS is correct – MI Paste does this and so does Novamin, which is available by script (it’s a product in other products) – I bought the remaining SootheRx which has been discontinued but there are many products with it and Sensodyne has licensed and coming out with a product. HOWEVER, I bought Arm and Hammer Liquid Calcium Sensitive Teeth and 3 years of daily sensitivity DUE TO IATROGENIC DENTAL DAMAGE is the ONLY product that killed the pain – and it remineralizes. I have to get it overseas because (SHOCK) it’s no longer available in the US because it actually works and the ADA can’t have that business going on. WANT TO NEVER SEE A DENTIST AGAIN – here is the secret. It’s so simple but you have to follow these common sense instructions. First, get one more cleaning and DON’T get your teeth polished PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Count the exclamation marks. PERIOD. Next, stop eating sugar (even in fruit). If you need the nutrition, juice the fruits and blend it so it can be taken by straw or spoon (no swishing). This would be ideal. If you do have it, rinse with warm water immediately and AFTER EVERYTHING YOU EAT, have a xylitol gum, mint or sugar (I take the sugar). This restores the PH in your mouth. Then, after 30 minutes, brush your teeth and swish with warm water thoroughly (brush with proper technique). That’s it. I believe TOTALLY in LIQUID CALCIUM from Arm and Hammer period! If you do this religiously – no cavities, no dentist. It’s diet and habit and xylitol (Spry or NOW xylitol sugar). Just check you PH strips and test me. OR – and this is true – if you eat plain lettuce or celery after ANY meal – you WILL NOT get cavities. Same with carrots.

  • dentalstudent

    I am a second year australia dental student, and this article is ridiculous, as well as some of the comments I am sorry to say, there are good points though.

    I believe what this article is referring too is a product called tooth moose plus. It has calcium and phosphate as well as fluoride. It has a strawberry flavor and is used as a tray. If there is a slight demineralization the calcium and phosphate will start to be remineralized the structure and the fluoride will make it infinitely stronger so that the decay will hopefully not return if proper Oral Hygiene and a reasonable diet is maintained.
    This isn’t in one go, it takes a lot of sessions to totally remineralize as well as a lot of money.

    It is completely ideal to have your own enamel and not have restorations as your teeth will last longer and will be stronger than any restoration can ever be.

    You can have sugar in your diet but it is best in a complex form such as fruit, and if it drunk consumption through a straw, but if you brush your teeth effectively with FLUORIDATED toothpaste twice a day and do not rinse so the fluoride can stop the bacteria from growing and so it can create stronger enamel. It also better to have fluoridated water with your meals.

    Fluoride has never been found to be cancer causing and is only fatal in huge quantities think 5g/Kg so a 80kg man would require 400g of pure fluoride for it to be fatal. Fluoride has been drunk naturally in wells for hundreds of thousands of years.

    Best of Luck with your dental health! And try to look after it now so you don’t have to spend money on tooth moose or to get those dental fillings which are uncomfortable as-well.

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