Periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) may be more effective in promoting successful tooth transplants than those that are derived from the root or center of teeth, according to a recent study published in the journal Cell Transplantation.
The researchers used beagle dogs to investigate how the specific cells would fare when they were used to facilitate the transplant of the animals' molars, which had been lost due to gum disease.
The results showed that PDLSCs showed enhanced levels of ligament, nerve and blood vessel regeneration when compared to findings from previous studies that evaluated the benefits of dental pulp stem cells.
"This study highlights the diverse sources of stem cells available in the tissues of the body for repair and how the optimal cell type for possible treatments needs to be determined - in this case for the treatment of dental-related disorders such as gum disease," Dr. Paul Sanberg said.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more than 8 percent of American adults between the ages of 20 and 64 suffer from gum disease. The condition involves the infection of tissues that support teeth and can occur if an individual does not brush or floss his or her teeth regularly.
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