Scientists have for the first time successfully managed to grow real teeth from a person’s own gum cells.
In the breakthrough discovery, the scientists from the Dental Institute at King’s College London isolated adult human gum (gingival) tissue from patients and grew more of it in the lab, and then combined it with the cells of mice to form teeth.
The current procedure of implant-based method of tooth replacement is unable to reproduce a natural tooth structure and often result in loss of jaw bone due to friction from eating.
The research, which was published in the Journal of Dental Research, explains the first advance in efforts to develop bioengineered teeth.
Professor Paul Sharpe, expert in craniofacial development and stem cell biology at King’s College London’s Dental Institute said, “Epithelial cells derived from adult human gum tissue are capable of responding to tooth inducing signals from embryonic tooth mesenchyme in an appropriate way to contribute to tooth crown and root formation and give rise to relevant differentiated cell types, following in vitro culture. These easily accessible epithelial cells are thus a realistic source for consideration in human biotooth formation.”
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