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Wisdom tooth finally proves its worth as stem cell reservoir


A recently conducted study has revealed that painful wisdom teeth, which are often considered a good-for-nothing element in the mouth, may well be worthy of some respect. According to, the latest findings suggest that the third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, provide a rich reservoir for the development of stem cells.

The research was carried out by a panel of scientists from Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and claims that the teeth contain soft pulp that is a source of cells, clinically known as mesenchymal stromal cells. The cell population is quite similar to the cells generally found in bone marrow.

Scientists have also observed that regardless of the similarity between cells found in bone marrow and in wisdom teeth, it is easier to extract the pulp from the latter, as people often get it removed anyway, reports.

The study, which is due to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, also states that the teeth can be frozen so as to be used in future as and when needed. Speaking about the findings, one of the key researchers added: “Thus everyone might be carrying around his or her own personal stem-cell repository should he or she ever need some,”

Images: p_x_g on Flikr and Wikimedia Commons

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