Don't Let the Tooth Fairy Take Those Teeth
If you’re a parent, you may have kept your children’s teeth as a memento of their childhood. Now researchers are saying that you may want to keep them for other reasons- the dental stem cells found in teeth may be the key to treating diseases and injuries. Dental stem cell banks are popping up across the nation in order to take in the stem cells of baby teeth and wisdom teeth and preserved for use in the future if the patient becomes ill or injured. After you read this blog, may want to hold on to your wisdom teeth after Dr. Hudson removes them!
Dental stem cells are mesenchymal stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells are the stem cells that make up the bones, circulatory system, the skin, and our connective tissues like muscles, tendons, and cartilage. These cells have the ability to grow quickly- with one cell generating into billions of cells.
Mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to repair damaged tissue caused by disease, injury, or wear and tear.
Research projects involving dental stem cells extracted from wisdom teeth have shown to repair the corneal tissue of the eye with scarring from an accident or eye infection. This is a major advancement for science because corneal blindness affects millions of people around the world. Current treatments for corneal blindness involves corneal transplants. Donor corneas are not always readily available and put the patient at risk for total blindness if the transplanted tissue is rejected by the recipient.
To harvest the dental stem cells for future use, the wisdom teeth would be extracted, stored in saline, and then sent off to a dental stem cell storage company. Once they arrive at the facility, the stem cells are extracted and then cryogenically frozen until the patient needs them.
Researchers have also used dental stem cells to regrow tooth enamel that has been damaged by illness, injury, or tooth decay. Healing the teeth with stem cells reduces the need for metal or ceramic restorations, and preserves the tooth. Other studies have used the stem cells to repair diseased pulp, which may be a less painful and invasive alternative treatment to root canals.
Questions about wisdom teeth extraction? Call Dr. Hudson at 1.888.724.7986.