Aventura Dentist Discusses Dental Stem Cells
Exciting new studies for both stem cell researchers and dentists alike are discovering ways our teeth may help us with potential diseases. Stem cells were first discovered in teeth in 2003; since then, much research has been conducted on lab rats, but it was not until two years ago that scientists tested dental stem cells on a human. The emerging research suggests stem cells found in our typically discarded baby teeth and wisdom teeth may be useful in the future.
Where are stem cells found in the teeth?
Stem cells are found in dental follicles, which typically surround an impacted wisdom tooth; dental pulp, the sensitive center of the tooth which houses all of the nerve cells and living tissue; the periodontal ligament, which connects the tooth to the gum tissue and provides a sort of shock absorption during chewing; and apical papilla, which is found at the root tip of a tooth. All of these stem cells can typically be easily harvested from a healthy primary tooth that has fallen out or an extracted wisdom tooth.
Why are dental stem cells important?
Scientists are researching the applications of dental stem cells which they believe to include regeneration of bone, dental tissue, cartilage, muscle, and possibly neural tissue. With these “master cells’” ability to make different cells in the body, scientists speculate that dental stem cells can treat potential diseases. Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, cardiovascular diseases, and jawbone deterioration are all believed to someday benefit from dental stem cells.
Stay tuned to the next blog to discover more about the benefits of dental stem cells over traditional sources of stem cell research as well as the industry inspired by this new discovery.
Center for Complete Dentistry in Aventura
Our knowledgeable Aventura dentist believes in staying on the cutting edge of dental technology to offer his patients the best in South Florida dentistry. For more information, or to schedule an appointment contact our Aventura dentist office, Center for Complete Dentistry, at (305)935-4991.