How we could grow new teeth ... just like sharks

Scientists have said that 'regenerating teeth will happen'. Photos / iStock
Scientists have said that 'regenerating teeth will happen'. Photos / iStock

Paying to get your teeth fixed can take a large bite out of your savings - so imagine if you could just grow a new set.

Well, according to scientists, one day we could.

Humans have the same genes that sharks have that allow them to regenerate their gnashers.

But while sharks grow many sets during their lives, the genes that allow regrowth die off or lie dormant in humans after we lose our milk teeth and adult teeth appear.

The researchers, from Sheffield University, said we too could be able to grow further sets if scientists can find a way to switch these genes back on.

Dr Gareth Fraser and his team analysed the teeth of catshark embryos. They identified genes in cells called the dental lamina that are responsible for sharks' lifelong tooth development.

They found the same genes are still present in all vertebrates, including humans - retained from a time around 450 million years ago when humans and sharks had a common ancestor.

Dr Fraser, whose findings were published in the journal Developmental Biology, said: "It's not so far-fetched we can use what nature has provided." He said more research is needed to understand how to 're-invigorate' the genes but added: "Regenerating teeth will happen."

- Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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