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Senior person at the dentist. (Photo by: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images)

Imagine if you could fix your sweet tooth with a drug instead of a drill. It could happen. Researchers have discovered that Tideglusib, a drug in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders, repairs cavities in mice by promoting the natural regrowth of tooth material. Humans could be next.

Today, when a cavity forms in a tooth, a dentist repairs it by drilling into the tooth to expand the hole, then patches it with a material made using a compound material that includes silicon or calcium-based aggregates. In the foreseeable future, that cavity could be repaired with a sponge soaked in Tideglusib, which stimulates the tooth’s own stem cells to create new dentine — the substance beneath tooth enamel that's eroded by decay when a cavity forms. The process takes about six weeks.

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