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Alligators Could Show Us How to Regrow Lost Teeth: Researchers

Missing teeth can make people feel less attractive and insecure. That said, when people lose teeth, they are also subject to some serious problems, including temporomandibular joint disorder, bone resorption and health problems related to nutritional deficiencies. Unfortunately, countless people across America endure these difficulties every day. According to a team of researchers, however, permanent tooth loss may soon become a thing of the past, thanks to one of the Earth’s oldest living creatures.

Studying the Alligator

A team of University of Southern California researchers are looking to alligators to see if they can show humans how to regrow teeth. Interestingly, alligators have the ability to regrow lost teeth up to 50 times during their lives, thanks to special stem cells which lay dormant until they’re needed.

Appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research found that alligators actually have three different sets of teeth at any given time: a fully-developed tooth, another baby tooth just beneath, and a tooth stem cell, which can develop into a new baby tooth in the event of tooth loss. According to the scientists who are conducting this ongoing study, their research may one day allow dental practitioners to inject patients with hormones that will cause new adult teeth to develop whenever tooth loss occurs.

Today’s Solution for Missing Teeth

Each day, researchers seem to stumble upon some new discovery that paves the way for an amazing future. Sadly, however, most of us will be long gone by the time dentists are able to instigate tooth regeneration. That said, if you have lost teeth, you don’t need some bizarre futuristic remedy. Thanks to dental implants, you can easily regain your confidence and the freedom to eat whatever you want.

Attractive and fully-functional, dental implants are just as good as natural teeth. They’re also an effective way to prevent temporomandibular joint disorder, bone resorption and nutritional deficiencies that result from dietary restrictions. To learn more about this effective, modern solution to tooth loss, contact Dr. Siegel's office today.

Related article: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/05/13/alligators-can-grow-new-teeth-so-why-not-humans