How to grow new teeth

I had heard of tooth implants but never of actually growing new teeth. Not until I read the Sunday Times that is! Their science correspondent, Mark Henderson, reports that dentures could become a thing of the past and a process of regenerating teeth (= growing new teeth) could become a standard process in only five years. Wow! This is no joke however and to prove this, let me inform you what is actually going on.

Apparently the man at the centre of all this is Paul Sharpe of the Dental Institute of King’s College London, a reputable centre of dental excellence if ever there was one. Professor Sharpe has found a way of using stem cells to grow teeth. Well, not in humans yet, but he had managed to grow a healthy tooth in a mouse using rudimentary tooth tissue taken from the embryo of another mouse. And as we all know, mice are not that different from men and women. As the old saying goes: Are you a man or a mouse? Squeak up! Anyway trials of growing teeth in humans could begin in only two years time. Still don’t believe it? Well listen to this: Apparently Professor Sharpe has a company called Odontis which is developing this project and they have just been awarded �100, 000 by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. So start believing that grown up humans may soon be able to grow new teeth!

Vitamins may be bad for your heart

Well many of us thought that vitamins were good for you, or at least could do you no harm. Then there were some warnings about taking too many vitamin supplements. Some believed that certain vitamins, such as vitamins C and E as well as Beta Carotene were good for the immune system and the heart. Now the news is that the opposite may be true. Instead of boosting the immune system of the body, as many thought, they may actually slow it down. It’s all to do with free radicals, the liver and the wrong sort of cholesterol and this time it’s the men in white coats at New York University School of Medicine who are doing the research. It’s all very complicated but columnist, Dr Thomas Stuttaford puts it into context in an article in the Sunday Times. He correctly makes the point that a balanced diet is all we need to keep healthy – as far as what we put in our mouths is concerned of course. (Nobody could have missed the media’s obsession with obesity and exercise in recent months. We should have seen it coming. This sort of ‘revelation’ always hits these shores about 6 months after it’s big news on the other side of the Atlantic.) Anyway the problem with a ‘balanced diet’ is that it’s quite hard to do unless you live on an organic farm and grow your own. The fruit and vegetables on the shelves of the supermarkets are depeleted of many minerals and vitamins and that’s the case for taking supplements!

In the final analysis, moderation may be the key. The jury is still out on big doses of vitamins and mineral supplements. But one good multivitamin a day could still ‘fill in the gaps’ of some of the things our bodies require but are not getting with our daily diets. That has been the recommendation of this columnist for some time and I stand by it.

Homeopathic Tip of the Week: Dental

Having some dental work done? And I don’t mean growing new teeth! My homeopathic teacher, Dr. Donald Foubister used to say having a filling is a bit like a hammer and chisel job on the head. In other words it’s a little trauma. And the great homeopathic remedy for all types of trauma is Arnica. Take Arnica 30c three times a day for two days starting immediately after dental treatment. I took it after having four wisdom teeth out under local anaesthetic at the same time (not generally recommended as it’s a bit ‘traumatic’). I took lots of Arnica, had a bruised mouth for one night but was amazed at how much better I felt the very next morning. From where I sit, no family should be without this most famous of homeopathic remedies, good for bad bruising, sports injuries and after dental treatment.