Betting Your Diabetes Future About… Baby Teeth?

From the “Weird and Wonderful” File:

Another booth I happened on last month when going to the Children with Diabetes conference at Orlando definitely stopped me in my tracks: dental stem cells for diabetes?! Could somebody be seriously running a business on this idea once the science is far from older?

Figuring out that the Store-A-Toothâ”cents booth was run with a Provia Laboratories, a Lexington, MA-based outfit offering a brand new service for maintaining the stem cells located in teeth and baby teeth. The teeth need to be “freshly removed” for the possibly healing stem cells to be pulled off. And let’s be clear: a ceremony in this way is a bet on the future of mathematics. And by no means a sure bet. It’s an expensive service offered to parents of kids with many conditions, including type 1 diabetes, that might or might not pay off years from now in the use of their individual’s dental stem cells for cell regeneration. You guessed it : they’re hoping for potential re-growth of healthy cells.

According to the organization’s website, dental stem cells differ from cord blood stem cells (also popular to have banked for future therapies) in that the dental stem cells “are able to regenerate solid tissue types that cord blood cannot — such as possibly repairing connective tissues, dental cells, adrenal tissue and bone” Wow.

Dr. Howard Greenman, CEO of Provia Laboratories as well as President of Store-A-Tooth, shared some information about the preliminary research going on in the field of dental stem cells:

So what are dental stem cells? Dental stem cells are adult stem cells (not embryonic stem cells) found in both infant teeth and wisdom teeth. Since being discovered 10 decades back, they have been shown to differentiate into bone, dental tissue, tissue, and muscle. Though dental stem cells have not yet been used as a treatment for diabetes, researchers think they have promising capabilities.

“We wish to be extremely apparent that now, parents who decide to preserve their children’s dental stem cells should understand that this is an investment in the future,” Dr. Greenman clarifies. “While research is progressing at a really fast pace, we are only just starting to see the use of dental stem cells in individuals for bone regeneration as well as periodontal disease”

Part of why the company decided to exhibit at the CWD seminar: dental stem cells have recently been demonstrated to possess some key attributes in common with other mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) which make them exciting candidates for potential use in diabetes therapy. Many studies are now exploring the use of MSCs, from a number of other tissues, to deal with type 1 diabetes.   MSCs from bone marrow have been analyzed at a Phase II human clinical trial, supported by the JDRF, with the wish to stop or reverse the autoimmune attack that causes type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Greenman says, “Many parents of all type 1 diabetics inform us they’re frustrated with the fact that they missed the chance to preserve their child’s cord blood stem cells.   At the time of their kids ‘ birth, they clearly didn’t understand their child would be diabetic and consequently, many decided to not make the investment.   Though dental stem cells are somewhat different than cord arteries, these parents now have an chance to make sure their family can gain access to a matched source of stem cells to their family’s future”

Obviously, Store-A-Tooth is hardly just for pennies. Two pricing options are available:

  • Regular service is $649 for tooth collection and processing, plus $120 annually to keep the tissue cryopreserved.
  • A 20-year plan for a one-time fee of $2399, which also includes the capacity to preserve an extra assortment of dental stem cells (either from precisely the same child or a different family member) for no extra cost.

Numerous applications for dental stem cells continue to be uncovered, including potential treatment of later-stage diabetes complications such as cardiovascular disease, periodontal disease, nerve disease, etc.. Research results thus far include:

–       The capability for dental stem cells to induce nerve wracking and differentiate into neurons has been shown by a team at the University of Adelaide in Australia

–       In Spain, researchers showed dental stem cells can enhance cardiovascular function in rats following heart attack.

–       Cells located in the thoracic have successfully been used as a treatment for bone loss associated with periodontal disease.

–       Researchers at Italy successfully used stem cells out of dental pulp to repair bone loss in humans.

So it is well worth a consideration before you let the Tooth Fairy fly off and pack those baby teeth.   You can learn more about dental stem cells as well as also the Store-A-Tooth system by visiting   this handy FAQ section on their website.

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.


This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog concentrated on the diabetes community. The content isn’t medically reviewed and doesn’t adhere to Healthline’s editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline’s partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.

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