Stem cells are used in many fields of medicine to help patients with their chronic conditions. Now, they are also being used in dentistry, as stem cells were discovered within the teeth. The baby teeth, adult teeth and wisdom teeth are all abundant deposits of stem cells. Stem cells can be saved from the teeth in dental procedures and used to help a patient later on. Learn how stem cell use comes from the field of dentistry and how they are harvested!
When you are born, you have an abundance of special cells that are called “stem cells”. These cells stem from your growth and development in the womb, when many neutral cells started to differentiate and turn into the cells for specific organs and tissues. You have a vast amount of different cells such as skin cells, heart cells, eye cells, and more. However, you also have neutral cells that aren’t assigned to any specific tissue or system, which are your stem cells.
When you are injured, blood platelets in your blood will rush to the site of injury. They will start to clot the wound so that your body stops the bleeding and can start to repair itself. However, dormant stem cells in your body jump into action. The body releases them into the bloodstream and they follow blood platelets to your injury. As those platelets clot your wound, stem cells turn into the specific type of cell your body needs to heal itself. That is how you can grow a scar made up of new cells in place of the cells you lost.
The cool thing about stem cells is not only that they were discovered, but also the many trials and tests it took to see the extent of what they could do. Stem cell use is a major part of regenerative medicine, as science has shown that stem cells can be used to help patients regenerate tissues after injury. However, studies also show that you only have a limited supply of stem cells in your body, and that your supply diminishes with age and injury.
However, scientists have found that you can take stem cells from one part of your body and add them to another part of the body that needs it. Patients can also donate stem cells to someone else to help boost their healing. When this ability was discovered, stem cell use started popping up in all main areas of medicine for healing and patient treatment.
Your teeth are made up of about 96% pure mineral content, and they don’t really “regenerate”. So why bother with stem cell use in this field? Even though your teeth are almost pure minerals, they are actually still living tissue. You have your hard, outer enamel made up of minerals such as calcium and phosphorous. However, just under that layer is the dentin, which is a softer layer that is slightly porous. This leads to the pulp tissue (the soft center) that has blood vessels and nerves that nourish your tooth.
Because your tooth is still a living structure inside your mouth, it can definitely benefit from stem cell use. How well you take care of your teeth will determine if your teeth decay or not and if you have gum disease or not. Most people don’t realize it, but the mouth is connected to your overall health and wellness. This is because so many substances enter your body through your mouth. Healthy mouth tissues improve health all over the body, and the healthy pulp tissue thrives with stem cells that can be used for healing and regeneration.
Stem cells can exist and can help any living tissues in your body. As the center of your tooth is comprised of soft tissue, that is an area where stem cells reside and can be harvested. At least 5 million people each year have their wisdom teeth taken out to prevent dental problems. Every single one of those teeth still have living tissue with stem cells in the center. The only problem is getting to the stem cells, as drilling (which brings heat) and cracking/breaking teeth will damage and kill stem cells.
A method was developed to crack teeth in half—fracturing them just like glass is fractured when being manipulated. With the fracture method, scientists were able to make clean breaks in the teeth that opened them without drilling or heat. Scientists then used various dyes on testing teeth that would highlight living tissue as clear, while dead stem cell tissues turned blue. Stem cells can replicate indefinitely, so they placed all the cells in petri dishes. After replicating the cells 10-20 times, all the cells that hadn’t died were the stem cells that were left.
Through this testing and harvesting, scientists can then use all the available stem cells for stem cell use in patients that have tissues that need regeneration. That can be gum tissue, muscle tissue, stem cell use for the joints and much more. Stem cell use in dentistry is only at the point where harvesting is being done for future stem cell use in patients. Hopefully, those stem cells can be used to eventually combat tooth decay and gum disease.
Stem cell use is also important to your oral health, just like it is important to any other part of your body. To see how stem cells can be used in a specific area of your body to improve your health, call Stem Cell Centers today at (877) 808-0016!