A recent report in the Daily Mail told of how a dentist removed his seven-year-olds wobbly front teeth in order for the dental stem cells to be frozen and stored for up to 30 years. The parents hope their daughter’s milk teeth could one day be used to enable her to take advantage of the latest stem cell research. Using stem cells from umbilical cord blood and bone marrow is nothing new, as this technology has been used for many years to successfully treat blood related diseases such as leukemia.
It was only recently discovered that teeth could be an excellent source of stem cells which are extracted from the central pulp area of the tooth to be stored. Dental stem cells have already been used to treat periodontal disease, and to regenerate bone lost in the jaw, and research has been carried out into whether or not they can one day be used to regenerate teeth.
Apparently the little girl’s biggest concern was whether or not the tooth fairy would leave her something for her missing front teeth, and she wrote a letter explaining her predicament. The tooth fairy very kindly left her five pounds.
In 2004 a study was carried out using mouse dental stem cells to successfully grow a new tooth. However this research is a long way from being usable, but it is nice to think that perhaps one day dentures will be obsolete, and that patients will have more of a choice as to how they replace missing teeth.
Until Dental Stem Cell Research Catches up…
In the meantime there is simply no substitute for good oral health, especially as failure to look after your teeth and gums is likely to result in periodontal disease. This disease is incredibly common, and a lot of people will have at least a mild case of gum disease, called gingivitis during their lifetime. The important thing is to catch quickly as it is relatively easy to treat in the early stages.
If you notice your teeth bleed when you brush or floss then it’s important to take action quickly as this isn’t normal. Healthy gum tissue is relatively resilient to brushing and flossing, and shouldn’t be tender to the touch. It should look nice pale pink colour, and should fit snugly around your teeth.
The early signs of gingivitis can easily be picked up by your dentist during your regular checkups, and they’ll be able to give you plenty of advice on how to deal with it. Part of your regular checkup probably includes having your teeth professionally cleaned, and this is one of the best ways of treating early gum disease as it helps remove all be infection and inflammation that is beginning to build up.
After this it should simply be a case of making sure you floss very thoroughly and that you brush twice a day. Your dentist can let you know if there are any areas you are inadvertently missing out, and your hygienists will be able to show you how to floss properly if you don’t feel your technique is everything it should be. You should begin to see the improvements within just a couple of weeks.
Everyone wants a nice smile, and it begins with excellent dental care.