New teeth growing from gum cells

dentistGrowing new teeth may someday be a viable alternative to dentures. A new study has successfully created lab-grown teeth by combining human gum cells with stem cells from embryonic mice.

The mouse stem cells, extracted from embryos, were specially raised to be “inducing”—that is, able to instruct other cells to start growing into a tooth. When these inducing stem cells were mixed with cells from human gums, and the combination transplanted into adult mouse kidneys, the result was a tiny tooth-shaped structure with proper enamel and roots. The roots were determined to be viable, meaning that if the tooth were to be implanted in a human jaw it would likely grow into the bone.


The results, published last week in the Journal of Dental Research, pave the way for future experiments using human stem cells to create new teeth. One challenge is that currently scientists only know how to make embryonic stem cells tooth-inducing, and human embryonic stem cells are fraught with ethical controversy.

Thus an alternative source of stem cells will be necessary for these experiments to go forward. Luckily adult stem cells can be easily obtained from the pulp of wisdom teeth, among other sources. However it’s unclear at this point if adult stem cells can become tooth-inducing.

An outside researcher told the BBC that, while a whole tooth might be a ways off, biologically-grown tooth fillings could be on the horizon in the next 10 to 15 years.

Source: Discover Magazine


  1. This should have been done YEARS ago — not using animal models but actual human cell tissue. It’s a huge waste of time to experiment on animals and then wonder if it’s going to work in humans. Why not just start with human cells in the lab? And then move on to human volunteers? There’s THOUSANDS of people willing to volunteer or be paid for this experiment! If it goes wrong, just extract the tooth! If all medicine/science simply follows “first, do no harm,” then no animal needs ever be used! Why is science so backwards when it comes to STILL using animals after centuries of failures as any kind of barometer of what might happen in humans!

  2. I just had gum surgery yesterday….hope this won’t prevent growing new teeth in the next decade!!!

  3. Thanks a lot for enjoying this beauty article with me. Thank you for sharing with us. Very well information, lots of thanks to the author. always has really good posts and topics please keep it up! loads of blogs are going under lately from lack of new posts.

  4. This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Very informative post thanks for share this with us I highly appreciate you for this information. Thanks for sharing it.

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