Teeth represent some of the biggest anomalies in the human body. They need to fall out, they’re covered by the hardest substance in the body, and they’re unique to each person. But the most puzzling thing about human teeth is the fact that they’re the only thing in the body that doesn’t heal.
The Living Tooth
Wounds close and bones can set, but there’s not much the body can do once you chip a tooth. This is because the tooth is what’s considered as a mineralised organ, a collection of tissues covered in hardened dentin. Its inert nature is comparable in some respects to hair and nails, but unlike its keratin counterparts, the ‘living’ part of the tooth extends beyond its root and exists in what’s known as a dental pulp.
The dental pulp is an area composed of vessels and nerves wherein dormant stem cells lie in wait to heal dental lesions through a still unknown process. That may be about to change as researchers have found a way to further unlock the reparative capabilities of dental stem cells by successfully extracting and isolating stem cells from the molar of a mouse.
What the Tooth Revealed
Upon further analysis, scientists identified five unique receptors in the cell that reacted to the dopamine and serotonin. These are two are neurotransmitters that are essential to the several functions in the rest of the body. The discovery of the receptors is a very good step forward because that means the dental pulp has some kind of reaction to dopamine and serotonin.
According to many sources within the field, it’s very rare for researchers to be able to isolate the cell lines, identify the markers, and discover the signals to which they react, all in a single sample. The amazing stroke of luck enabled the scientists to quickly confirm the deep involvement of at least four of the receptors in the healing process.
If researchers can fully understand how the tooth heals itself, it’s possible to be able to enhance that ability to become greater in scope, or expedite the process. The dental field is one that’s moving forward every day, and if you want to take advantage of the latest techniques and equipment available, contact us today. Our teams make it a point to keep abreast of the latest in what’s going on in the industry and apply what works.