Alzheimer's Drug Found to Regenerate Dentin

A new use for a neurological medication has recently been discovered by researchers at King's College London. This could potentially be used for advanced restorative treatment aimed at preventing the need for endodontic treatment and increasing the success and longevity of pulp caps.

The treatment works by accelerating the process responsible for laying down tertiary dentin when the pulp is disturbed. The drug, called Tideglusib, is a small molecule non-ATP-competitive GSK-3 inhibitor l that is being employed as next-generation techniques to fight Alzheimer's disease.

Curiously, this drug also has an effect on dental pulp cells. Dental pulp has a natural mechanism to deposit so-called tertiary dentin if the original dentin is compromised or eroded, which can help protect the pulp from infection and postpone the need for a root canal. The researchers raised a cohort of mice on a high-carbohydrate diet to produce caries, then treated cavities that reached the pulp with Tideglusib for half the population. The Tideglusib was contained within a biodegradable sponge made from collagen along with the enzyme glycogen synthase kinase. The mice were anesthetized for the dentistry, and after a two-week healing period the teeth were examined.

Mice who had their teeth treated with Tideglusib exhibited a remarkable degree of re-growth of the dentin layer, to the point where the dentin had completely replaced the sponge. This result suggests that it may be possible to not only re-mineralize but re-grow dentin for large carious areas, which could then be easily restored with composite to mimic the natural enamel as a finishing touch. Although this treatment is still in the early phases of testing, it holds enormous potential to reduce or even eliminate the need for bulk-filling of large lesions.

Johnston, I. (2017, January 9). Damaged teeth can be regrown naturally using an Alzheimer’s drug, scientists discover. The Independent - Science. Retrieved from

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