Beyond symbolism, keeping precious baby teeth could later help save their lives. This is the assumption of researchers from the National Center for Biotechnology in the United States, who have found that baby teeth stem cells were less damaged than those of adults, and could therefore be usable for therapeutic purposes.
Stem cells are a very promising area of research: they are “primary” cells able to transform into any specialized cell in the body.
In a clinical trial in China, baby teeth were used to regenerate new adult teeth that have not developed properly. After a while, the researchers found that stem cells from baby teeth had been used to renew the blood vessels and nerve connections in the dental pulp of the adult tooth.
“This treatment gives sensations to the patientsSaid Songtao Shi of the University of Pennsylvania. “If you expose them to hot or cold stimulation, they may feel it. They still have living teeth“, he added. “So far, we have follow-up data over two years, two and a half and even three years, and we have shown that it is a safe and effective treatment”, Said the scientist last September, in the newspaper Penn Today.
Currently, this is theapexification (closure of the root of teeth that did not come naturally using products) which is used to encourage root growth when permanent teeth are damaged, but it does not replace lost tissue and the patient may still suffer from a dead tooth.
Beyond dental treatment, stem cells from baby teeth may well be used in the future to treat other parts of the body, the way in which the bone marrow stem cells. The latter are also much more difficult to access than those of baby teeth, if they are well preserved.
Stem cells are currently used to treat blood and immune system diseases, or replenish the blood system after treatment for certain cancers. But many diseases seem to be treatable through this, such as neurological diseases (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s…), age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetes, multiple sclerosis or even spinal cord injuries.
Source: The Daily Mail
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