Ouch! About a quarter of all school-age kids will break or otherwise damage a tooth.
Adults have their share of cracked chompers, too.
But what if fixing a busted bicuspid was as easy as zapping it with a laser?
Preliminary work with young rats has moved dentistry a small step in that direction.
A new study finds that shining a low-power laser on damaged rat teeth activates molecular growth factors already present in the tissue.
These growth factors cue stem cells to generate dentin, the bonelike substance that teeth are mostly made of.
Researchers also found that when mice were missing those growth factors or when the factors were blocked from working, the stem cells would not regenerate dentin when exposed to laser light.
That finding confirms the important role these signaling pathways play in dental development.
The study, led by David Mooney at Harvard's Wyss Institute, is in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Could a light-based treatment for cavities and chipped teeth eventually be in the offing for people?
The researchers plan to investigate that possibility for human teeth, both baby and adult.
But until then, chew carefully.
And don't lead with your chin.
1.expose to 暴露于；公开揭露
Expose to a chance of loss or damage.
To expose to danger or harm.
2.plan to 打算,计划
As ceo, what do you plan to reduce?
Despite u.s. unemployment hovering around 9.2%, 83% of u.s. start-ups plan to hire in 2011.
3.both and 两个都；既…又…
Both paths will ultimately lead to defaults, inflation, or both and so to losses for creditors.
You have 2 cows; the government takes both and gives you some milk.