Abstract. A great number of patients around the world experience tooth loss that is attributed to irretrievable damage of the periodontium caused by deep caries, severe periodontal diseases or irreversible trauma. The periodontium is a complex tissue composed mainly of two soft tissues and two hard tissues; the former includes the periodontal ligament (PDL) tissue and gingival tissue, and the latter includes alveolar bone and cementum covering the tooth root. Tissue engineering techniques are therefore required for regeneration of these tissues. In particular, PDL is a dynamic connective tissue that is subjected to continual adaptation to maintain tissue size and width, as well as structural integrity, including ligament fibers and bone modeling. PDL tissue is central in the periodontium to retain the tooth in the bone socket, and is currently recognized to include somatic mesenchymal stem cells that could reconstruct the periodontium. However, successful treatment using these stem cells to regenerate the periodontium efficiently has not yet been developed. In the present article, we discuss the contemporary standpoints and approaches for these stem cells in the field of regenerative medicine in dentistry.
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