If you believe in tooth fairies then your child does too, and placing baby teeth under the pillow for 10 or 20 rupees in exchange is how you may have recorded this precious milestone of them growing up. There’s another reason now to save those precious baby teeth, and this may also save their life in the long run.
Baby teeth aren’t just a precursor for permanent teeth, but have much more significance towards health. Like umbilical cords, they contain stem cells and these cells are where new tissues and bones grow from. When collected from baby teeth, they can potentially be used to treat diseases especially those that arise when children get older.
What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are the precursors of all cells in the body. They have the ability to change into different cells, heal damaged tissues and science has even found them useful in regrowing skin and cartilage. This is the reason medical science and doctors are constantly researching about the benefits of stem cells and their longterm implications in disease and healing.
What are Dental Stem Cells?
Dental stem cells are cells found specifically in baby and wisdom teeth. They belong to a category of adult stem cells called ‘mesenchymal stem cells’ which go onto differentiate between muscle, cartilage, tissues and even according to research, neural cells. Studies are still underway on their applications in regenerative dentistry and tissue reformation.
Dental stem cells are very different from stem cells found in other parts of the body for a few reasons;
- They are available in plenty and easy to collect. This is in comparison to stem cells found in bone marrow which us difficult to extract, and cord blood stem cells only found during birth
- They proliferate easily and can be cultured easily compared to other stem cells
- Being comparatively immature than other types of mesenchymal stem cells, dental stem cells may have greater potential
Dental stem cells can be extracted from dental pulp and are known to regenerate all kinds of solid tissue, including repairing connective tissue, dental tissue and bone. There has been much research conducted into the benefits of banking dental stem cells, and their use in regenerating tissues and bones.
Small Bites has partnered with Transcell Biolife’s Mothercell to offer stem-cell banking from baby teeth and young, healthy adult teeth. This recent technology has great potential to enable treatment of diseases and aid healing and repair using an individual’s own stem cells in future years. More details can be found here or use the below form to request more details.