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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?

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Feb
12

Understanding Ankyloglossia and Tongue-Tie Surgery

You’re probably familiar with the phrase “getting tongue tied” which refers to feeling too shy or embarrassed to speak. But in the case of now 8-year old Mason Motz in Texas, he’s now feeling anything but. According to an article from Inside Edition, Motz spent the first five years of his life unable to speak […]

Jan
28

What Are Dental Implant Abutment?

When it comes to dental implants, most people are familiar with the implant itself and the crown or bridge. But there’s one part of the ensemble that doesn’t often get discussed: the abutment. The dental implant abutment is a small object usually made of titanium or zirconia that acts as the connection between the dental […]

Jan
16

Is Your City Fluoridating Their water? Here’s One That Didn’t

Although scientists have already provided ample evidence that fluoridating drinking water can help reduce dental carries (cavities), many cities still choose to forego fluoridation. If your city is choosing to stop fluoridating their water or if the water isn’t currently being fluoridated, this story of what happened in Juneau, Alaska might be a wake-up call. […]

Dec
9

The Abuse of Teeth in Nursing Homes

By the time you have reached your seventies, your teeth are tired. Even with proper care and regular trips to the dentist, your teeth and gums have gone through a lifetime of wear and tear. Teeth can withstand this wear and tear if they have received proper care and treatment throughout their life, but for […]

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