New Delhi (PTI): It may not be long when our grandparents can retain their ‘closeup’ smiles even at advanced stages of their life as scientists have identified a gene that controls production of tooth enamel, promising replacement of teeth which can be grown on demand.
The identification of the gene opens new vistas in the dental sciences as it could make possible repair of damaged enamel, a new concept in cavity prevention, restoration and even the production of replacement teeth.
The gene known as Ctip2 was known for several functions including immunity and development of skin and nervous system in the body. The researchers at Oregon State University in the US have found that this gene is also responsible for the development of tooth as well.
The findings were published in the latest edition of the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ in the US.
“It’s not unusual for a gene to have multiple functions, but before this we didn’t know what regulated the production of tooth enamel,” one of the researchers Chrissa Kioussi said.
Scientists used mice whose Ctip2 gene was “silenced” as such animals come as an important tool for scientists to study what systems are present and what are missing.