Doctors Use Stem Cells to Treat Tooth Infections
A new study has found that stem cells can aid the regrowth of cavities.
The use of regenerative medicine has a lot to offer the greater wound care industry. Through a series of biological modifications and interventions, doctors the world over have been able to regrow everything from ears and chunks of skin to several different organs. In the last few months alone, there have been a few exciting such breakthroughs in regeneration.
Recently, a team from California and Pennsylvania unveiled an all-natural approach to scar prevention. Publishing their findings in the journal Science, the research collective was able to manipulate skin and fat cells like myofibroblasts and adipocytes to regrow tissue layers fully in a just a few day’s time.
Now, another exciting breakthrough in regenerative medicine focuses less on skin and more on dental health.
In a recent study in the journal Scientific Reports, a team of doctors have used an Alzheimer’s disease drug to help stimulate the regeneration of stem cells inside a tooth. The team represents several members of King’s College London, including the Department of Craniofacial Development and Stem Cell Biology.
The drug in question is called tideglusib and has become an increasingly promising drug in delaying the neurological decline experienced by Alzheimer’s patients. Tideglusib is said to work by stirring up activity among key varieties of stem cells, and that’s why it was chosen in the first place by the King’s College team.
When anyone experiences some sort of damage or injury to their teeth, especially infections, the body creates dentin to help protect the tooth. However, this dentin layer often isn’t enough to fix the resulting cavities, and more is needed to be done.
So, the scientists applied tideglusib using biodegradable sponges. What they found was that the drug worked in some very promising initial trials, as it was able to slowly replace the sponge over time, resulting in dentin re-growing naturally on its own.
If the team was able to recreate these results, and possible speed up the timeline, this could be a huge help for the treatment of large-scale cavities and to reduce dependence on fillings.
Lead author Dr. Paul Sharpe told Healthline that the ramifications of the study go beyond simply giving people a brighter smile.
“The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product for the natural treatment of large cavities, by providing both pulp protection and restoring dentin,” he said. “It brings stem cell biology into clinical dentistry for the very first time and will hopefully make the clinical dental community aware that biological-based treatments are the future.”
As an extension, studies like these also help to push forward the realm of regenerative medicine, and that will only help patients, including those with chronic wounds, secure cheaper, more effective forms of treatment.
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