Teeth, one of the most important tool native within the human body is also one of the most fragile, gets broken easily depending on which condition we are in, and mostly fall off pretty easily when we get aged. At the middle age or even as early as the teenage stage of life, our body may no longer regrow our teeths when our permanent tooth falls off. At this stage, a missing tooth means staying that way forever and eventually other teeth will fall off as we grow older.
However, researchers from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University and the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology conducted a study on regrowing our teeth virtually in a natural way with the help of science. The study shows the possibility of regrowing a multiple number of teeth from a single root by the way of transplanting a “tooth germ” into rats. As the subject develops teeth, the skin an epithelial layer moves down towards the mesenchymal layer (the area which houses an unaffiliated cells that can develop into other tissues such as an artery, a ligament and even bones) develops the Tooth Germ – a bud that sends out signalling proteins to trigger tooth development.
During the study, researchers removed the tooth germ for developing mice and kept alive in the lab, at its course of development, researchers split the Tooth Germ into two by loping a nylon thread around the bud.
Different scenarios can result from this procedure, one is that the bud could stop growing or it could grow into something functionally useless. However if the Tooth germ gets split at 14.5 days in its development, researchers has observed that each resulting bud will develop its one signalling centers which would later help develop into a tooth. Once the developed Germ cell is transplanted into the subject from which in this case a mice, the subject will grow a new tooth with a full physiological functions including, mastication, noxious stimuli and periodontal ligament functions.
With promising results, researchers are yet to apply this procedure to humans and if all goes well, adults and elderly may one day regrow back their full set of teeth rendering dentures insignificant.