New knowledge on the cellular makeup and growth of teeth can expedite developments in regenerative dentistry — a biological therapy for damaged teeth — as well as the treatment of tooth sensitivity. The study, which was conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet, is published in Nature Communications.
Teeth develop through a complex process in which soft tissue, with connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels, are bonded with three different types of hard tissue into a functional body part. As an explanatory model for this process, scientists often use the mouse incisor, which grows continuously and is renewed throughout the animal’s life.
Despite the fact that the mouse incisor has often been studied in a developmental context, many fundamental questions about the various tooth cells, stem cells and their differentiation and cellular dynamics remain to be answered.
Using a single-cell RNA sequencing method and genetic tracing, researchers at Karolinska Institutet,