French scientists develop a no drill cavity fix. A team of researchers created a new peptide, known as melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) to treat cavities by applying a soft gel or thin film near a cavity to encourage cells inside an afflicted tooth to regenerate from within. Previous studies published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences proved MSH's effectiveness in bone regeneration. Bones and teeth are similar in composition so a group of scientists began clinical trials with mice. MSH was applied to the decaying teeth of mice and within a month's time the cavities had disappeared, proving MSH's affectiveness in regenerating decaying teeth. Results of the study were published in the journal ACS Nano.
Researchers are relatively certain MSH can not prevent cavities or tooth decay but it can treat them. Nadia Benkirane-Jessel, scientist for the Institut National De La Sante et de la Recherche Medicale stated that MSH is "not like a toothpaste" as proper dental care including flossing, brushing, and rinsing is necessary for oral hygiene, but MSH does "control cavities" once they occur. Berkirane-Jessel hopes that further research into using MSH will save patients hours of time and suffering in the dentist chair and increase smiles.