Baby teeth revealed as source of stem cells - Article from Divya Bhasker 20th January,2013 (Sunday)
Milk Teeth Deciduous teeth, otherwise known as rebornerteeth, baby teeth, temporary teeth and primary teeth, arethe first set of teeth in the growth development of humansand many other mammals. In some Asian countries they are referred to as fallteeth as they will eventually fall out ,while in almost allEuropean languages they are called milk teeth. They develope during the embryonic stage ofdevelopment and erupt—that is, they become visible inthe mouth—during infancy. They are usually lost andreplaced by permanent teeth, but in the absence ofpermanent replacements, they can remain functional formany years.
MILK TEETH (deciduous) teeth start coming throughwhen babies are between 5 and 8 months old. They aresmaller than adults teeth because childrens jaws aresmaller. As the jaws grow, more teeth come through.There are 20 deciduous teeth altogether, and they finishcoming through by about age 2 to 2½ years. Why are the milk teeth called so?Milk teeth are called so due to their white colour whichresembles the colour of milk. The milk teeth are whiter thanthe permanent teeth which replace them. The refractiveindex of milk teeth is similar to that of milk and hence theyare called so.
Deciduous teeth start to form during the embryo phaseof pregnancy. The development of deciduous teeth starts at thesixth week of development as the dental lamina. This processstarts at the midline and then spreads back into the posteriorregion. By the time the embryo is eight weeks old, there are tenareas on the upper and lower arches that will eventually becomethe deciduous dentition. These teeth will continue to form until they erupt in themouth. In the deciduous dentition there are a total of twentyteeth: five per quadrant and ten per arch. The eruption of theseteeth ("teething") begins at the age of six months and continuesuntil twenty-five to thirty-three months of age. Usually, the firstteeth seen in the mouth are the mandibular centrals and the lastare the maxillary second molars.
The deciduous dentition is made up of central incisors, lateralincisors, canines, first molars, and secondary molars; there is onein each quadrant, making a total of four of each tooth. All of theseare gradually replaced with a permanent counterpart except forthe first and second molars; they are replaced by premolars. The replacement of deciduous teeth begins around age six. Atthat time, the permanent teeth start to appear in the mouth,resulting in mixed dentition. The erupting permanent teethcauses root resorption, where the permanent teeth push on theroots of the deciduous teeth, causing the roots to be dissolvedand become absorbed by the forming permanent teeth. The process of shedding deciduous teeth and the replacementby permanent teeth is called exfoliation. This may last from agesix to age twelve. By age twelve there usually are only permanentteeth remaining.
Teething age of deciduous teeth:Central incisors : 6–12 monthsLateral incisors : 9–16 monthsFirst molars : 13–19 monthsCanine teeth : 16–23 monthsSecond molars : 22–33 months Deciduous teeth are considered essential in the developmentof the oral cavity by dental researchers and dentists. Thepermanent teeth replacements develop from the same tooth budas the deciduous teeth; this provides a guide for permanent teetheruption. Also the muscles of the jaw and the formation of the jawbones depend on the primary teeth in order to maintain theproper space for permanent teeth. The roots of deciduous teethprovide an opening for the permanent teeth to erupt. These teethare also needed for proper development of a childs speechand chewing of food.
The Stem Cells are derived from the milky teeth & canbe preserved till 21 years in the “Dental Pulp Stem cellBank”. These Stem cells are used in the treatment for thefuture dangerous diseases such as liver diseases,kidneydiseases,Cancer,Spinal Cord injuries, Eye relateddiseases,etc. Stemed Biotech M.D. Shailesh Aadre Informed duringthe launching ceremony of Dental Stem Cell Bank that inmumbai,delhi,haidrabad,banglore,chennai & pune centers,1200 persons has preserved their dental stem cells. This whole process of taking the dental pulp from theteeth costs around 1,25000 Rs. It is easy to take stem cells from teeth than to take themfrom bones by surgery.
Milk teeth fall of by 5 to 11 years. It is also possible to take stem cells from thewisdom teeth from adults. Then they have been sentto Chennai Center. The similarity of dental stem cells from Brother &Sister is about 75% & from mother & father is about50%. Therfore stem cells can also be helpful in thetreatment of relatives. Stem cells regenerate the damaged tissues &organs in any disease.It can also be helpful in the cutorgans. Recent research is going on for the hair transplant,teeth transplant by stem cell therapy.
Currently, researchers can isolate two types of stem cells.Embryonic stem cells can develop into any cell in the body,but their harvesting requires the destruction of embryos,which pro-life groups oppose. Adult stem cells avoid thisproblem, but have more limited abilities. Now it appearsthat the stem cells from childrens lost teeth could providean intermediate and easily accessible source. In this brand new research, about to be released latertoday by the NIH and the National Institute of Dental andCraniofacial Research, it looks like theres another place tofind stem cells that can give rise to bone and neural cells —inside the pulp of baby teeth when they are lost by a child— and that this non-controversial source of stem cells couldbe banked for future health needs.
Songtao Shi, a pediatric dentist at the USNational Institutes of Health in Bethesda,Maryland said that "These stem cells seem togrow faster and have more potential todifferentiate into other cell types than adult stemcells,“Shi and his colleagues found that babyteeth cells can differentiate into tooth-formingcells called ondontoblasts, and also neural cellsand fat cells.
History of this Discovery Dr. Songtao Shi had been doing research on the stem cells from bonemarrow. So one day, Dr. Songtao 6-year-old daughter had a tooth that was about tocome out, and Dr. Songtao also happened to be trained as a pediatric dentist inaddition to doing stem cell research at NIH. His daughter knew this, and insteadof going to her mom to remove her first baby tooth, she went to her dentist dadinstead. And when her dad looked inside the central-front baby tooth that hadjust come out, he saw live pulp and a light bulb went off in his head. Hethought, I wonder if I could get stem cells from here. Previous work by Shi in 2000 had already shown that extracted adult wisdomteeth contain stem cells in the pulp at the centre of the tooth. He took it to thelab and found out that indeed there were stem cells there that could beharvested. But to do the real research, he had to wait for her next baby tooth tocome out.
He took that tooth to the lab at 10:30 p.m., collected the tissue andconfirmed that there were indeed stem cells. And then, because heneeded more baby teeth, he waited around like an expectant parentwaiting for his daughter’s friends’ baby teeth to come out, and he didresearch on those too. To isolate the stem cells, Shi extracted the pulp and cultured the cells forseveral days, then tested the survivors for markers of stem cell activity. About12 to 20 cells from a typical incisor tooth turn out to be stem cells. By culturing the cells in various growth factors, Shi could differentiate thecells into tooth-forming cells, fat cells or neural cells. The differentiated cellssurvived when implanted under the skin and in the brain ofimmunocompromised mice. Shi also found that the cells promote the growth of bone. He suspects thestem cells may play a role in preparing the way for adult teeth.
For bone, he hypothesized that these stem cells from a babytooth are the ones that result in the bone that is put downaround the new permanent tooth as it comes in. These stemcells give the order to "make bone," so theyve got theblueprint in them. He felt that they could be given cues toinduce bone formation. As for neural tissue, the stem cells from teeth share acommon origin with neural tissue. As their research progresses, Dr. Songtao and his teammembers hope that stem cells from baby teeth may one dayrestore nerve cells damaged by diseases like Parkinson’s —one of the most common neurological disorders affecting theelderly. Researchers believe that with the proper cues, they may beable to encourage the stem cells to form nerve-like tissueswhich may restore cells that make dopamine — a brainchemical that nerve cells need to function properly.
An oral biologist Bjorn Reino Olsen, at Harvard MedicalSchool said that the discovery of stem cells in baby teethcould give a big boost to oral surgery. The cells, oncedifferentiated into odontoblasts, could secrete dentine.This bone-like material could then replace the lessbiocompatible metal posts that are currently used toanchor implants to the jaw. Stem cell research is the most promising path tocuring many severe diseases and conditions that todaycan not be cured - Parkinsons disease, Alzheimersdisease, juvenile diabetes, spinal cord injury, MS, ALS,and certain forms of cancer and heart disease, to namejust a few.
So whats the difference between whatumbilical cord blood stem cells can do and whatbaby tooth stem cells can do?Right now, researchers know that from umbilicalcord blood they can get blood stem cells. Theycant get the blood stem cells from baby teeth —but they can get the bone and neural cells.
What would parents have to do to bank theirbabys teeth?First, they will have to let the tooth fall out naturally,when its ready to come out. Its like picking fruitwhen it’s just right. Too soon wont work, and if theywait too long and the tooth is dangling there forweeks, they cant get stem cells from it either. Frontteeth are the best for gathering stem cells.The researchers say that it will be really simple. All aparent will have to do is put the tooth in a vial in aculture medium, milk will do, and keep it wrapped inan ice pack at 40 degrees. Then send it to the centerusing an overnight delivery service.
Limitations But as much as parents want their children to have the bestof everything and to have every possible advantage in life,there are still a couple of issues for parents to think aboutbefore deciding to bank umbilical cord blood. First, it isnt cheap. It costs between $1,500 and $2,000,plus about $100 or more per year to store. So cost is aprohibitive factor. Expectant mothers already have too manydecisions to make, and thats enough stress for anyonewithout this as a bonus prize.
My Point of View Its important to understand the difference betweenthe current medical use of cord blood or stem cells frombaby teeth and the promise that such cells hold in thefuture. If you bank the stem cells from your childs baby teethnow, by the time, God forbid, your child or a siblingmight need them, the research will have progressed to apoint where those stem cells might be able to make ahuge difference in your childs life. And its so simple todo; it will likely be worth the extra effort. One of the name of stem cel bank is BioEden BabyTooth Stem Cell Bank.