Scientists Develop New Drug That Can Regenerate Lost Teeth

by : Cameron Frew on :
Scientists Develop New Drug That Can Regenerate Lost TeethKyoto University/Katsu Takahashi

Scientists from Japan have developed a new drug capable of stimulating tooth growth. 

Losing one’s teeth is one of the most common dreams – well, nightmares. It’s also a part of life for many, whether it’s a result of old age, bad luck or regrettable dental hygiene.


However, what if there was a drug that would help people regenerate their former gnashers, rather than implants and fake teeth? Thanks to a new study by researchers at Kyoto University and the University of Fukui, it’s a possibility.

Kyoto University/Katsu TakahashiKyoto University/Katsu Takahashi

Published in the Science Advances journal, the study showed how an antibody for uterine sensitization associated gene-1 (USAG-1) can kickstart tooth growth. The research was performed on mice suffering from tooth agenesis, a congenital condition.

It notes: ‘Our results demonstrate that USAG-1 controls the number of teeth by inhibiting development of potential tooth germs in wild-type or mutant mice missing teeth.’


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An average human adult has 32 teeth in their mouth. However, around 1% of the population have less or more because of congenital conditions, which scientists believe may be the root of where to find the cure.


Katsu Takahashi, a lead author on the study alongside and senior lecturer at the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, said, ‘We knew that suppressing USAG-1 benefits tooth growth. What we did not know was whether it would be enough,’ MailOnline reports.

The researchers found success on mice with as little as a single administration, with further progress on ferrets. ‘[They’re] diphyodont animals with similar dental patterns to humans. Our next plan is to test the antibodies on other animals such as pigs and dogs,’ Takahashi said.


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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Science, Japan, Now, Tech, Teeth


Science Advances and 1 other
  1. Science Advances

    Anti–USAG-1 therapy for tooth regeneration through enhanced BMP signaling

  2. MailOnline

    Say goodbye to dentures! Scientists develop new drug that can regenerate lost TEETH in mice and ferrets