Research recently published in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 8, No. 30, 2013) is especially exciting because it exhibits, yet again, the mouth-body connection. The concept of PDL stem cells having the same ability as Schwann cells to enhance axonal growth for nerve injury repair is a great advance forward in regenerative technologies since cells from teeth are easily obtained. Many times, in stem cell reparative technologies, the limitations are the ability to harvest the stem cells as well as the ethical questions involved with the harvest. Using stem cells from the PDL of teeth avoid both of these issues.
The Phys.org Science News Wire page published a short article about the research that you can view here. You can download the full article, “Human periodontal ligament stem cells repair mental nerve injury,” including the abstract, from the October 2013 issue of Neural Regeneration Research here.
Scott Froum, DDS, is a periodontist and co-editor of Surgical-Restorative Resource™ e-newsletter. He is a clinical associate professor at the New York University Dental School in the Department of Periodontology and Implantology. He is in private practice in New York City. You may contact him through his website at www.drscottfroum.com.
ADDITIONAL READING …
Stem cell research: cells extracted from primary teeth may be best for autism research
Guided tissue regeneration: background to current indications and applications
Stem cell opportunities for the dental hygienist
First human trial to use embryonic-like stem cells collected from adult cells to grow bone
The use of stem cells in dental implant site development