It is estimated that over 40 percent of the adult population in the United States has periodontal disease in one form or another. Periodontal Disease is a chronic infection of the periodontal ligament (PDL) and the adjacent bone and cementum. The effects of Periodontal Disease range from simple gum inflammation to, in extreme cases, tooth loss.
The NIH announces a new technology wherein stem cells from the PDL have been isolated from adult human PDL. These cells are capable of forming cementum and PDL in immunocompromised mice. In cell culture, PDL stem cells differentiate into collagen fiber forming cells (fibroblasts), cementoblasts, and adipocytes. It is anticipated that these PDL stem cells will be useful for periodontal tissue regeneration to treat periodontal disease.