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Can Wisdom Teeth Stem Cells Be Used to Treat Corneal Scarring?

Posted by: Dr. Sirakian     Categories: Uncategorized

A scarred or scratched cornea is a condition that necessitates immediate treatment, and it could potentially lead to permanent vision loss. As of now, the options to treat this scarring include donor corneas replacing the damaged one, or donor tissues to try and regenerate the impaired tissue. However, teeth may provide another option!

Recent findings at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine indicate that the “stem cells from the dental pulp of wisdom teeth can be coaxed” to become cornea cells and thus repair scarring. Becoming blind from cornea damage is said to affect millions of people around the world. If the wisdom teeth pulp option helps to heal this, it could be a major advancement in treatment.

The biggest issue with current treatment options is the lack of donor corneas; when donor tissue can be implanted, there is also the risk of the tissue being rejected by the recipient’s body. So how do wisdom teeth stem cells avoid these risks? According to the Pittsburg School of Dental Medicine, wisdom teeth pulp could be turned into “keratocytes, which have the same embryonic origin,” making the cells a better fit to repair the cornea.

As of now, the research has been tested on laboratory mice to see the effects firsthand. The results of injecting keratocytes into mice corneas showed perfect integration with no signs of rejection. Because this was only the first test, researchers will continue to test on other animal models better judge the pulp’s effectiveness.

Also, according to Dr. Syed-Picard of Pittsburgh’s Department of Ophthalmology, there is proven research showing that dental pulp has serious potential for use in “regenerative purposes and making neural, bone, and other cells.” If these theories of dental pulp are proven 100% right, then the future of corneal scarring could be changed for the better, helping millions worldwide avoid the damages. Who would have thought teeth would be an answer to vision loss?

Source

Apr
14

Sports Drinks: Here’s the Catch

Reports indicate that 30 to 50 percent of U.S. teens consume energy drinks, and that 62 percent consume at least one sports drink a day. While the drinks hydrate and offer energy and minerals, there’s a side of them that most don’t talk about. Sports drinks are full of acid and sugar used to enhance […]

Mar
3

The Teething Myth You Have to Stop Believing

Many parents have the misconception that teething causes diarrhea. What’s the correlation, you may ask? It is believed that the excess saliva that comes with teething can affect the gastrointestinal system. However, although there is no evidence of a causal relationship, this idea may not be completely baseless, as teething babies put a variety of […]

Mar
3

Straighter Teeth in a Snap

Turns out you can have straighter teeth by mail! Well, at least that is what a few by-mail-only orthodontia companies believe. In an effort to help patients save money, some orthodontic companies are having patients send their impressions to them by mail instead of going in for a dentist’s consultation. While this approach may save […]

Feb
24

Alligators and Dental Science?

Did you know alligators can replace each of their teeth up to 50 times in their life? Humans are unique among vertebrates for being able to replace our teeth only once. But new insights into how alligators replace their teeth may help stimulate the same process in ours. Professor Cheng-Ming Chuong, M.D., Ph.D., has discovered […]

Feb
24

Fruits for Whiter Teeth?

Recently hailed as an inexpensive and organic alternative to teeth whitening, fruit concoctions have arisen as the new way to get those pearly whites. But is there any truth to all these claims? A study at the University of Iowa points to “No”. Associate Professor So Ran Kwon tested homemade strawberry-baking soda mix, over the […]

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