Aspirin has already enjoyed its day in the sun. In its current form, the common over-the-counter painkiller gained prevalence right before the turn of the 20th century, but after many a decades’ worth of work, it was eventually supplanted by ibuprofen (which you shouldn’t take after a workout) and acetaminophen (which you shouldn’t take for after a night of drinking.)
But aspirin’s application shifted and changed. Soon it was being doled out by doctors for daily usage to help prevent blood clots (Did you know that your height can affect your blood clot risk?) and being packed away in purses across the globe for the purpose of heart-attack prevention. That is, unless you’re this age, which could make an aspirin regimen deadly. Now it appears this miracle drug has one more trick up its sleeve. It may just help keep your teeth intact, according to the BBC.
Scientists in Belfast, Ireland, recently completed a study analyzing aspirin’s ability to help in the process of stem cell regeneration in teeth, and the results were promising. The researchers at Queen’s University found that the common painkiller enhances teeth’s ability to stave off tooth decay by stimulating stem cells.
The solution isn’t as simple as simply popping an aspirin a day, however. The researchers are currently looking into ways in which the aspirin can be applied practically, as the drug needs to be installed in a way that it can slowly release doses into the tooth over time. Hypothetically, aspirin could make fillings obsolete, because the teeth would regenerate themselves.
Professor Ikhlas El Karim, one of the researchers behind the study, expressed that the commonness of aspirin can prove to be a huge advantage for future research and application: “We are not really talking about 10 or 20 years time, it will probably be in the near future that it could be tried in a clinical trial with patients. This novel approach could not only increase the long-term survival of teeth but could also result in huge savings for… healthcare systems worldwide.”
The more scientists research, the more aspirin’s additional uses continue to grow.