August 4, 2015
Did you know that rodent incisors never stop growing? They gnaw and chew through just about anything. They need to wear down those incisors, which, if left unchecked, could go so long that the animal might not be able to bite and starve. This dental development gives researchers insight into how to regenerate human teeth, which could change the way dental restorations—crowns, bridges, and “fillings”—are handled by the dentist.
In the study to be published in Development Cell, the research team compares the cells that become mouse incisors with those that become molars, which, as in humans, stop developing after crown formation.
“The major idea of the paper focused on how incisors and molars start with similar developmental processes but differ in tissue homeostasis due to the differing fates of their dental epithelial stem cells,” says Weston Grimes, one of two dental students involved in the study along with Hoang Anh Ho.
It’s these different stem cell fates that leave incisors with a bustling population of epithelial and mesenchymal stem cells to keep them growing throughout life while the stem-cell population of molars lies dormant, according to the article.
“If we can someday use this knowledge to reactivate those stem cells, then we could regrow part of the root,” says study leader Yang Chai, associate dean of research and chair in craniofacial molecular biology at USC’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry.
“In this study, we discovered how different signaling pathways work together to control stem cells,” says Chai, who is also director of the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology. “We can use this information as a playbook for tooth regeneration.”
The discovery means that, in time, a dentist might one day reach for a living tooth regenerated in a lab to replace a broken tooth instead of amalgam or porcelain, Chai explains.
Looks like in the future we will have the opportunity to have natural teeth even if many of them have been lost. This might be the future replacement for dentures, but in the mean time, dental implants plays the function of helping to stop bone loss and deterioration! You can replace dentures with Snap in Dentures and it will give you the stability you need to laugh and eat, it will also improve your health!
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