Alligator Tooth Regeneration and Possible Teeth Renewal in Humans
Humans only have two sets of teeth— the baby teeth (also called ‘primary’ or ‘milk’ teeth) and permanent teeth. This makes our teeth very precious: if we lose an adult tooth, it can only be replaced by something artificial like a bridge, dental implant or denture. Creatures such as alligators are not so dentally-impoverished: a lost tooth is soon replaced by one that grows in its place, and this continues throughout their life.
An interesting study conducted on the alligators’ capability to regenerate teeth offers clues on possible teeth renewal in humans. Researchers deemed alligators as the ideal model for comparison to human teeth since “alligator teeth are implanted in sockets of dental bone, like human teeth”.
Researchers looked into the process how these animals regrow teeth and they found “what appear to be stem cells from which new replacement teeth develop”. They concluded that if similar cells were present in the human jaw, it might be possible in the future to stimulate them to generate a new tooth to replace an adult tooth that has been lost.
Interesting and exciting, isn’t it? Read more about it here: