Facebook Pixel

Stem Cells from Tooth Extractions

Rate This

Researchers in Japan have discovered how to get stem cells from teeth. All previous options for harvesting stem cells were extremely invasive, involving things like bone marrow harvesting or termination of pregnancy. Now stem cells can be obtained from teeth that have fallen out or need to be extracted.

As well as being a much less invasive procedure, it is also less controversial and may make stem cell therapy acceptable to a large group of society who are now opposed to it because of its connection with abortion.

The researchers produced six cell lines from the extracted teeth and of those, five were viable to use in potential future therapies. Saving a patient’s own teeth would be useful as it would provide a source of stem cells that matched the patient’s cells and did not carry the risk of rejection.

“This work is significant in that it proposes the exciting potential of stem cell banking from readily available extracted teeth,” said JDR Editor-in-Chief William Giannobile. “Although at an early stage of development, this innovation offers prospects for cell therapy approaches for the treatment of human disease.”

It isn’t a brand new idea. In 2008, Dr. Ogushi from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology extracted pulp from the wisdom teeth that had been removed from a ten year old girl to be used in the search for cures for conditions like cancer and diabetes.

This method of obtaining stem cells is an alternative to getting them from cord blood, which is almost as controversial as embryonic or fetal stem cell collection. This is because there are many people who believe that the blood belongs in the baby at the time of birth and to do without this extra infusion of blood could cause illness or even death of the baby. There are several medical studies that back up the benefits of delayed cord clamping. Obviously if this is done, there will be no cord blood leftover to use for stem cell transplants. Storing your child’s baby teeth is another option and could have as much benefit to him as would banked cord blood, if he ever needed it in future.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Prevention Centers

Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!