Could we re-grow teeth like sharks do in the future?

shark photo

The choices we currently have when we suffer from decayed or loose teeth are repair or removal, but in the future scientists reckon we could re-grow them – just like sharks do.

A team at Sheffield University has discovered that humans have the same genes in our make-up that sharks have, which allows them to repeatedly shed and re-grow teeth throughout their life. In people, we just re-grow our teeth once and then the specialist cells responsible for regeneration either die off lie dormant.

Dr Gareth Fraser, who led the research, is convinced that scientists of the future will find a way to switch the genes back on, so that humans will also be able to regenerate their teeth as and when they need to. In all, 400 different genes are responsible for growing each tooth.

Dr Fraser told the scientific journal Developmental Biology: “Sharks can regenerate their teeth throughout their lives. The good news for us as humans is the genes that make these teeth re-grow are shared by all vertebrates including humans.

“What it means is because we have the same genes to make teeth, we also have a regenerative programme. Regenerating teeth will happen.”

It’s great news for the future, but until the science exists to help us grow new teeth, we need to look after the ones we have.

That means good dental hygiene both a home and with regular deep cleans, scale and polishes at the dental surgery. By keeping up with your dental check up routine, you can also catch any problems earlier and tackle issues quickly.

Although we can’t yet regenerate our teeth, today’s modern and sophisticated dental implants mean we can replace teeth effectively. This is one of our specialities at Liam McGrath, so if you’re considering implants, please get in touch will us click here or call us on 0151 329 2888

Image sourced from unsplash 

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