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How Wisdom Teeth Stem Cells Can Help Repair Corneas

November 12th, 2018

What seems like strange - or even science fiction - now, will soon become commonplace. Regenerative medicine, for instance, seems too weird for most people to understand its astounding potential. Thanks to innovations in how we study and utilize stem cells, the ability to regenerate parts of the human body so that it can heal itself, is becoming more possible every day. In particular, dental stem cells from young, healthy teeth have shown themselves to be effective in developing regenerative therapies. One example is the facility for stem cells from wisdom teeth to repair damaged corneas. Here's how it works.

Corneal Blindness

Millions of people around the world suffer from corneal blindness. The primary treatment for this condition is to transplant donor corneas. While generally effective, rejection of donor corneas are not uncommon. Furthermore, as with other types of transplants, the availability of donor corneas is inconsistent. If the patient is unable to find a donor cornea, or the cornea is rejected, permanent vision loss can result.

No Risk of Rejection

In recent experiments conducted by Pitt's Department of Ophthalmology, it was shown that dental pulp stem cells taken from wisdom teeth can be coaxed to turn into cornea cells. When injected into the corneas of healthy mice, the cells are integrated and are never rejected. Furthermore, because the cells are harvested from your own wisdom teeth, they're always available.

Other Uses

The discovery of the ability of stem cells drawn from wisdom tooth pulp to positively impact human health has been a revolutionary development in the study of stem cells. Besides their usefulness in repairing corneas, wisdom teeth stem cells can also be used to make bone, neural, and other types of cells.

There's no telling how far stem cells taken from wisdom teeth can go in addressing serious medical problems. There's no question, however, that with the progress we've seen in just the last few years, we're only seeing the beginning of this amazing new technology. Call the Tooth Bank today to find out more.