New Discovery May Allow Dentists to Regenerate the Roots of a Tooth

As a child, losing a tooth is not a big deal. In fact, the teeth that are present early in our lives are meant to fall out, so they can be replaced with permanent, adult teeth. This regrowth process is natural, but once those permanent teeth grow in, there’s no way to replace them naturally if they fall out.

That means a simple sports injury, trauma to the face or jaw, a bad cavity, or a host of other issues can cause your teeth to fall out. Once they do, there is no replacement other than implants. While implants are a great alternative to real teeth, the ability to regrow, real teeth is an even better solution.

The question of how to regrow teeth has been omnipresent in the industry. Rather than replacing a missing tooth with implants and worrying about infections and other concerns, replacing the missing tooth with a real, natural tooth is preferred.

Unfortunately, this is no easy task. Teeth do not naturally regenerate in this way. As a result, researchers have studied the process of growth and development to determine if there is, in fact, a solution.

In order to regrow teeth, the roots must be regenerated. Typically, this is not possible, but scientists are confident that there is a way to accomplish this.

In a recent article published by USC’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, an interesting discovery was made about tooth root pattern and development. It turns out that epigenetic regulation can control this.

Researchers are increasingly interested in the way that the body changes over time. Epigenetics, the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code, allows them to do just that.

This process doesn’t make changes to DNA but it does control where genes are available and unavailable for transcription. This process controls the pattern of growth.

To learn about this, the researchers looked at Ezh2, a protein that helps with the development of bones in the face.  Prior to this, it was not known how this protein affects root development. After studying what happens when the protein is not present in the molars of developing mice, the researchers learned that Ezh2 and a protein called Arid1a have to be in balance to establish a root pattern and integrate properly with the jaw bone.

This discovery brings them one step closer to finding a way to regrow teeth through root regeneration.

Further discovery found that the root patterns and growth of Neanderthals were much different than ours today. The difference appears to be the effect of diet and exercise on the proteins that encourage this regrowth.

Essentially, this study proved that a balance in the body is important. Without the right balance of proteins, root regeneration is not possible. While the possibility of tooth regrowth is still far off, Chai, the associate dean of research at USC’s school of dentistry, aims to start by regenerating molar roots and then placing a crown on top.

For now, dental implants are a great, safe option for missing teeth. Contact our office today to learn more about your options.

11 thoughts on “New Discovery May Allow Dentists to Regenerate the Roots of a Tooth”

  1. Hi. My daughter received an injury in school to her front two teeth when she was 8. The teeth were permanent ones. She is now 23. During a routine dental Check up thus week, they took an OPG and found out that the roots of both these teeth are almost gone. The doctor says the teeth will eventually fall out and she will need implants. Is there any way to save her teeth ??

    1. Dr. Mauricio Hervas

      Hello Ambareen, thank you for contacting us. Kathia from our office will be reaching out to you.

  2. Hi , i am having teeth roots resorption due to my brace . I was wondering Is there is any possibility of regeneration

    1. Hola soy de Ecuador, a mi hija de 16 años le han dañado sus 4 dientes frontales superiores, sus raices se han reabsorbido por la ortodoncia, existe algo que ayude

  3. Hello my 7 yr old son had brain cancer received chemo and a stem cell transplant a couple of years ago and now he is doing well and thriving but while at his 6mnth dental check up they told us that his 2 front permit teeth that are coming in do not have long enough roots and they with fall out as they keep growing out is there a way to save them?

  4. Hello! I want to ask you about that when I was 14 year old I have a bad accident and in result of that accident my front one teeth which is permanent is fallen from the root and then doctor fix an artifical teeth but after fixing that teeth my one other front teeth is paining and is discolored again and again but know the teeth colour is grey and doctor said that they will attach a cap in that discolor teeth .but know after seeing your article I m very hope ful about that my artificial teeth is removed and new teeth will grow . Reply me

    1. Dr. Mauricio Hervas

      Please give us a call to schedule an evaluation, it is possible but without seeing your teeth we cannot know for sure.

  5. Hi! I have a son that fell because he has a balance problem and knocked out one of his tooth. And we put it back right away. The endodontist wants to perform root canal but I refused because I am hoping that the roots will regrow. My son is not complaining of any pain and the tooth color is yellow, this happened 10 months ago. My son is only 14 years old.

  6. Hi due to a deep fracture in my teeth I had to extract my premolar but the root of the premolar had expended so they due to the excessive Pain was in, the dentist decide to break one of the root, I was wondering if there was a way to regenerate the tooth back or what is my next best option because I feel so uncomfortable with one tooth fine

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