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There is now another option for parents who missed out on saving their child’s umbilical cord stem cells. New research shows that children’s “milk teeth” have stem cells that can be used to help during disease or illness.

The stem cells can be saved from baby teeth, teeth extracted for orthodontic reasons, and wisdom teeth.  Dental stem cells are located in the pulp of healthy teeth. The dental pulp is stored at low temperatures until needed.

Stem cells are important because they can be used in future therapies in regenerative medicine and dentistry. Studies have shown that dental stem cells may be able to produce insulin and might be able to treat type 1 diabetes.

Another study in Japan showed that spinal cord injuries can even be reversed through stem cells. People who suffer from strokes, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, etc. can also benefit from stem cells.

If you use your own stem cells for treatment, there is less risk that your body will reject medical treatment and less need of powerful drugs that can have negative side effects on your body. Plus, stem cells from teeth reproduce at a more rapid rate and for a longer span of time than those taken from other body tissue.

Stem cells do age and regenerative properties slow down, so it is better to get stem cells earlier in life so they will be more helpful when needed. If you would like to learn more about dental stem cells, contact  the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry.