A drug to regrow teeth.

Endgadget (via Yahoo! News) has bad news for the Tooth Fairy coming out of Kyoto University, where researchers have a drug for regrowing lost teeth that’s about to enter human trials:

The research has been led by Katsu Takahashi, head of dentistry and oral surgery at Kitano Hospital. The intravenous drug deactivates the uterine sensitization-associated gene-1 (USAG-1) protein that suppresses tooth growth. Blocking USAG-1 from interacting with other proteins triggers bone growth and, voila, you got yourself some brand-new chompers.

September’s clinical trial will include adults who are missing at least one molar but there’s a secondary trial coming aimed at children aged two to seven. The kids in the second trial will all be missing at least four teeth due to congenital tooth deficiency. Finally, a third trial will focus on older adults who are missing “one to five permanent teeth due to environmental factors.”

Takahashi and his fellow researchers are so optimistic about this drug that they predict the medicine will be available for everyday consumers by 2030.

Video (and photos of ferrets’ regenerated teeth) at the link. You can read more of Takahashi’s research here, from Kyoto University.