What if repairing your receding gums were as easy as a quick spritz of Binaca? That’s the potential of a new discovery from researchers from the American Dental Association’s Anthony Volpe Research Center. They created a new sprayer that allows people to spray a liquid mix of stem cells on their gums to regrow gums to repair the damage of gum disease, excessive brushing, and other causes of receding gums.
Although it will be a long time before this technology becomes available for regular use, it is promising that we might be able to someday repair this damage so quickly and easily without the need for a gum graft.
The Problem with Other Stem Cell Sprays
It should be noted that this is not the first use of stem cells in a spray format. Other researchers have been working on spray-on skins to help burn victims heal. These have primarily been gel-based solutions, which may not be appropriate for gum treatment.
Gel-based sprays can help protect cells–vital when the cells are going to be exposed to the environment, such as when they’re used on skin–and the gel can provide nutrition for cells as they grow.
But according to researchers in this study, they have limitations when it comes to gum repair. One of the co-authors, Wojtek Tutak, said, “Gels physically compress cells, restrict gas diffusion, and provide a biochemical environment that is different from the environment in the patient’s wound.” Gas diffusion may not be as much of a problem when the treated area is exposed to open air, such as with a skin wound, but if the treated area is in the mouth, where gas flow is limited, we don’t want to restrict diffusion at all.
Not Your Average Spray Can
To avoid the problems with stem cell gels, researchers wanted to design a liquid-based stem cell spray, what they called the g-brush. With this sprayer, the culture medium and stem cells come through a needle in the center, while CO2 gas is sprayed simultaneously around the outside. The gas mixes with the cell culture, mixing with the liquid, breaking it into small droplets that allow for maximum gas diffusion and a nice even coating.
Researchers tested their solution by spraying different types of cells on culturing plates. They used both bone marrow cells and gingival fibroblasts–which could regrow bone and gum tissue respectively–onto different plates. Researchers were then able to show that the spray put as much viable cells on the surface as using a common technique of transfer in the lab.
They also sprayed their cultures onto the enamel and cementum coatings of a single tooth. Microscope images showed that there were still viable cells on the surface three days after spraying, though they do not report that the cells were growing to replace lost gum tissue or bone.
However, researchers did say that they were able to calculate the optimum spray rates, which will help improve the viability of future sprayed stem cell experiments.
Receding Gum Repair Today
Unfortunately, if you have receding gums today, you can’t wait for this technology to be available, which may take years if it ever becomes viable.
Fortunately, we can help with the latest gum repair techniques available. If you are looking to repair receding gums in Orange County, please call (949) 551-5902 for an appointment with a dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.