There are 206 bones in the normal adult human body. These are hardened calcium, mineral, and collagen combinations that serve as the biological framework for our daily activities. Even though we don’t give them much thought, bones are quite strong. However, they have a clever mechanism whereby they can regenerate if they break.

But teeth are not made of bone. They lack the vital capacity to self-heal and regenerate, while sharing certain similarities with humans and being the toughest substance in the body due to the enamel covering that protects it. That might not always be the case, though. Human trials for an untested medication that claims to develop human teeth are scheduled to start in September, according to Japanese experts.

“We want to do something to help those suffering from tooth loss or absence,” -Katsu Takahashi, the head of dentistry at the medical research institute at Kitano Hospital in Osaka

This discovery comes after years of research on a specific antibody known as Uterine Sensitization-Associated Gene-1 (USAG-1), which has been demonstrated to prevent mice and ferrets from growing teeth. In 2021, researchers at Kyoto University, who will also be engaged in human trials, found a monoclonal antibody (a method typically employed in the battle against cancer) that interfered with USAG-1’s ability to interact with molecules called bone morphogenetic protein, or BMP.

“We knew that suppressing USAG-1 benefits tooth growth. What we did not know was whether it would be enough,” Kyoto University’s Katsu Takahashi, a co-author of the study, said in a press statement at the time.

“Ferrets are diphyodont animals with similar dental patterns to humans.”

Now that a comparable experiment with people is scheduled for September of this year, scientists will be able to observe precisely how similar they are. This 11-month research will concentrate on 30 male participants, ranging in age from 30 to 64, who are all missing one or more teeth. Fortunately, no negative effects from the drug’s earlier animal experiments have been documented, and its usefulness and safety will be demonstrated by administering it intravenously.

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With the ultimate objective of having a tooth-regrowing medication ready by 2030, Kitano Hospital will offer the treatment to youngsters who are missing at least four teeth between the ages of two and seven if all goes according to plan. Although these therapies concentrate on the patient.



source: Popular Mechanic