Colgate Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center

Innovative toothpastes to clean and brighten every type of smile.

Toothpastes

A toothbrush for every type of smile, designed with comfort and results in mind.

Toothbrushes

Colgate kids' products make brushing fun and encourage routine use.

Kids' Products

Oral care products available exclusively through dental professionals.

Products From the Dentist

Professional grade oral care, available without a prescription.

Other Oral Care

Every smile is unique and requires a different type of care. Colgate has a solution for every smile.

Search by Benefit
Font size

New way to treat toothaches?

The release of endorphins produces a condition commonly known as "runner's high." Now researchers at the University of Michigan are asking whether the same mechanism could be used to help with toothache pain.

An endorphin is a substance in the brain released when injury occurs, abolishing all sensation of pain. Someday, your dentist may relieve your toothache by applying a substance that triggers the release of endorphins in your mouth.

Research under way at the University of Michigan is aimed at these substances, and how stimulating their release could not only alleviate toothache pain but also allow the pulp — connective tissue with blood vessels and nerve tissue — to recover and repair itself.

"We discovered evidence that within the tooth pulp there is a mechanism that triggers the release of endorphins, the chemical that produces what is often referred to as 'runner's high,'" said Dr. Rex Holland, professor in the University of Michigan School of Dentistry's department of cariology, restorative sciences and endodontics. "The clinical implications of this discovery could lead to a new approach in the way dentistry is practiced."

Opiates, such as morphine, could be effectively applied to the pulp to mimic a local release of endorphins in a patient's tooth, said Dr. Holland. Among the benefits he cites in this research is a better understanding of pain stemming from inflammation of the pulp.

"Teeth that are now extracted or treated by root canal therapy might be treatable by a more conservative and much less invasive and expensive approach," he added.

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

The release of endorphins produces a condition commonly known as "runner's high." Now researchers at the University of Michigan are asking whether the same mechanism could be used to help with toothache pain.

An endorphin is a substance in the brain released when injury occurs, abolishing all sensation of pain. Someday, your dentist may relieve your toothache by applying a substance that triggers the release of endorphins in your mouth.

Research under way at the University of Michigan is aimed at these substances, and how stimulating their release could not only alleviate toothache pain but also allow the pulp — connective tissue with blood vessels and nerve tissue — to recover and repair itself.

"We discovered evidence that within the tooth pulp there is a mechanism that triggers the release of endorphins, the chemical that produces what is often referred to as 'runner's high,'" said Dr. Rex Holland, professor in the University of Michigan School of Dentistry's department of cariology, restorative sciences and endodontics. "The clinical implications of this discovery could lead to a new approach in the way dentistry is practiced."

Opiates, such as morphine, could be effectively applied to the pulp to mimic a local release of endorphins in a patient's tooth, said Dr. Holland. Among the benefits he cites in this research is a better understanding of pain stemming from inflammation of the pulp.

"Teeth that are now extracted or treated by root canal therapy might be treatable by a more conservative and much less invasive and expensive approach," he added.

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

1/15/2007

ColgatePalmolive.com  |  Colgate.com  |  Legal/Privacy  |  Colgate.com Site Map  |  Contact Us
© Colgate-Palmolive Company. All rights reserved.
You are viewing the United States site.