The fear of having a mechanical drill crammed into one's mouth is enough to keep many people from regularly seeing a dentist. New technology developed by researchers at the University of Leeds that is based on knowledge of how the tooth forms in the first place could soon be providing a pain-free way of tackling the first signs of tooth decay. It uses a peptide-based fluid that is literally painted onto the damaged tooth's surface to stimulate the tooth to regenerate itself.
The fluid developed by researchers in the University of Leeds' School of Chemistry contains a peptide known as P 11-4 that will assemble into fibres under certain conditions. When applied to a tooth, the fluid seeps into the micro-pores that form when the acid produced by bacteria in plaque dissolves the mineral in the teeth.
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