Songtao Shi is a doctor from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial research who has carried out a study which revealed that the baby teeth contain one to two dozen valuable stem cells which can be used in the later life for treating different diseases.
Experts have been studying the effects of stem cells on heart, brain, pancreas and other organs in repairing possible damage from disease. The team of Dr. Shi discovered that adult teeth contain 1 type of stem cell, while baby teeth (from children aged 7 and 8) contain completely different stem cells.
Baby teeth can save life, if you couldn’t afford to bank your baby’s cord blood for stem cells or you haven’t thought about this on time.
How does it work?
Stem cells are located in the dental pulp within the tooth, which then regenerates into neurons, bone and cartilage (or even cardiac cells). This treatment can be effective for type I diabetes, because stem cells from teeth can be turned into pancreatic cells which produce insulin.
In order to preserve the stem cells which can be useful, they have to be alive. Within 48 hours of being frozen, the dental pulp needs to have proper blood supply- less than this and the cell dies.
The Director of Dental Regenerative Laboratory, Dr. Peter Murray, says that oral and teeth tissue can be regenerated by stem cells from baby teeth, tooth buds, third molars, periodontal tissue or induced pluripotent cells.
There are services which can store baby teeth, which recommend removal of the baby teeth by dental professionals; the tooth should not be dangling, because this way it`s very possible it does not contain enough blood supply.
Some companies like Tooth Bank and Bioden offer storage container and at-home collection process, others offer packaging and shipping supplies so that the parents can save their baby teeth themselves.