Biting something cold with a damaged or sensitive tooth can trigger an especially unbearable type of pain, but scientists have never fully understood how this pain signal is transmitted. In a recent study, they revealed that one main suspect is a protein called TRPC5. So what is the TRPC5 protein and how does it cause pain?
What is TRPC5 Protein?
The short transient receptor potential channel, also known as transient receptor protein 5, is a protein encoded in humans by the TRPC5 gene. TRPC channels form the subfamily of channels most closely related to drosophila TRP channels in humans. The dominant TRPC channels in the mammalian brain are TRPC 1,4 and 5, and they are heavily expressed in corticolimbic brain regions such as the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.
TRCP5 protein is found in cells called odontoblasts inside the teeth that form the dentin shell just below the tooth enamel. Odontoblasts support the shape of the tooth. As the researchers discovered, these cells also act as cold sensors.
TRPC5 is an ion channel, a gateway that allows chemicals such as calcium to be signaled through cell membranes under certain conditions. Thus, they react to the cold.
New treatments can be developed based on these findings to help with pain or hypersensitivity in the teeth. It is possible to be delivered through the gum or through strips applied directly to dentine.
How Is Cold Detection Blocked?
As emphasized by the pathologist Jochen Lennerz of Massachusetts General Hospital, it would be very beneficial to know how to intervene in the cold detection process now to prevent toothache.
The research team, who previously identified TRPC5 as a potential temperature sensor, found in experiments with mice that the teeth of mice lacking the gene encoding TRPC5 did not respond normally to exposure to cold. Using chemicals to block protein ion channels had the same effect.
Although the experiment was carried out with mice, detailed analysis of the human female revealed that the same perception was also present in humans. A close analysis of the extracted human teeth was done.
Accordingly, the teeth were decalcified, then put into an epoxy resin, then carefully sliced. It revealed the same TRPC5 channels in odontoblast cells. The result revealed that the same perception occurs in human teeth.
The TRPC5 protein is found elsewhere in the body and has previously been shown to feel cold and trigger certain biological actions. We now know that odontoblasts in teeth also work inside, and that could mean some relief for the roughly 2.4 billion people living with untreated caries on their teeth.
To New Teeth Treatment With TRPC5 Protein
Researchers suggest that the sensitivity to cold may be a warning signal to the body to help prevent further damage to the tooth. Odontoblast cells become more active in the cold, a drop in temperature usually means more pain to the tooth.
Clove oil is very effective in reducing pain. Clove oil has been used for centuries as a toothache treatment. No wonder people have traditionally used this oil to reduce sensitivity. Because the active ingredient of clove oil is augenol and blocks TRPC5. Treatments to block the TRPC5 protein as a new way to permanently reduce sensitivity appear promising.
Despite the bruises on our teeth, the days when we can easily eat ice cream seem to be close 🙂
If you are curious about the content, findings and results of the new scientific study on the relationship of TRPC5 Protein with toothache, click on the link below:
For further reading on the role of TRPC ion channels in the versatile functionality of calcium, you can also click on the link below:
Author: NİL GÜREL