Treating early tooth decay
could become easier and less painful thanks to a new
discovery by Japanese scientists.
Researchers in Japan have
developed a new synthetic tooth enamel that can repair
early tooth decay without the need for drillings and
The crystalline white paste
can reconstruct enamel without removing the decayed area.
It repairs small cavities and helps prevent new ones.
"We have shown that our
synthetic material can reconstruct enamel without prior
excavation," Kazue Yamagishi, of the FAP Dental Institute
in Tokyo, said in a report in the science journal Nature
Dentists usually treat
cavities by removing the decayed area and filling the hole
with a resin or metal alloy. But it is not ideal for small
cavities because healthy tooth is also removed to make the
The scientists tested the
new paste on early decay in a lower premolar tooth. After
examining the tooth with an electron microscope they found
the paste integrated with the tooth's natural enamel.
But the researchers warned
the paste should not come into contact with the gums
because it could cause inflammation due to its high
concentration of hydrogen peroxide.