U.S. scientists have used an experimental drug to restore bone in aging animals, completely preventing tooth loss, the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research study was published in Frontiers in Dental Medicine.
The loss of bone mass with age causes the gums and jaw bone to degenerate, leading to tooth loss in older people.
Scientists tested the effect of an experimental drug 1,4-DPCA on rats. This drug "deactivates" a molecule that interferes with the production of HIF-1a, a key component of regeneration in traumas. Increased levels of HIF-1a temporarily alter tissues to the early stages of fetal development, when perfect healing of injuries without scarring is possible. Mice receiving the drug were able to regenerate gum tissue and jaw bone tissue, which completely prevented tooth loss.
"Recovery of a significant amount of lost bone and tissue was complete. I am optimistic that this drug will evolve and eventually be used to prevent tooth loss in patients with periodontal disease," said study leader Ellen Heber-Katz.