The change of baby teeth is a great experience for the child and the parent itself. The first tooth is kept under the pillow waiting for the Tooth fairy to bring some gift for the child thus making this event as celebration.
But, there is more to the baby teeth according to the recent findings of scientists. Namely, according to Sara Rankin, professor of biology at Imperial College London, these teeth could be a new way of deriving stem cells. In the era of new diseases and the difficulty of fighting them, Dr, Rankin believes that this could be new potential source of stem cells that could be exploited in the future. Hence, make sure to keep the baby teeth of your child as they can be very beneficial in near future.
A Chinese Study on Stem Cells from Baby Teeth
This is the first study conducted on this issue by Dr. Songtao Shi where it was demonstrated that the stem cells extracted from the pulp of the baby teeth could be effective in the treatment of dental wounds.
Dr. Shi and his colleagues in their first clinical trial monitored a group of 40 children with broken incisor. 30 children had implanted stem cells from baby teeth and the remaining 10 underwent an apexification technique for root closure of the artificially affected tooth.
After this procedure, scientists noticed that the incisors of patients treated with stem cells had a thicker dentin, a better developed root and greater irrigation. After a year of this implantation there were even sensations in the affected tooth, which was not the case with patients treated by apexification. Thanks to this study Dr Shi enlightened the use of these stem cells in the treatment of systemic diseases.
According to a study released in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, these stem cells have been taken into consideration in new research of autologous grafts and tissue engineering. Scientists believe that the use of exfoliated milk teeth could be almost same as to an umbilical cord and in future would be an exceptional source of stem cells. As per the findings of researchers these stems will have a very high rate of proliferation and splitting that in future could treat not only damaged tooth structures but as well as neural tissue damage and degenerative disorders.
Keep the Baby Teeth
Many parents have realized the value of baby teeth and start to keep them like for instance Carole and Sean Daly who preserved milk teeth for medical purposes. In fact, this young couple is one of around 3000 families that have sent the teeth of their children to a laboratory located in Cheshire, England.
Due to the possible chance of exerting stem cells from the baby teeth almost 12,000 children sent their baby teeth thanks to the collaboration between Prof. Rankin and artist Gina Cwarnecki. Even though there is a long way to enjoying the benefits of the stem cells from the baby teeth people are becoming more and more aware of their value. There is a need for further research, but the odds are really high for their incredible benefits.
According to John Hunt, professor at the head of the clinical engineering division at the University of Liverpool, there are high chances that the stem cells derived from baby teeth to proliferate and thus give place to different types of cells. Not to mention the fact that the conservation of baby teeth would be much easier than the collecting umbilical blood just a few minutes after birth.
However, regarding the preservation of baby teeth the BioEDEN, one of the two English labs that keeps these teeth, states the following:
“We are aware of the scientific studies conducted so far but we also take into consideration that the banks for baby teeth are based for the moment only on a future potential for success”