About this Research Topic
Injury of dental and periodontal tissues by infection or trauma leads to major destruction of functional dental and supportive tissues, which results in impaired mastication, swallowing and speech, and often malnutrition and poor quality of life for individuals of all ages. Recent studies have shown that regenerative medicine offers exciting opportunities to replace damaged tissues and restore function after care or removal of the affected part. In this context, human adult stem cells, in association or not with specific scaffolds and/or bioactive molecules, have been shown to play pivotal role in the regenerative process as a convenient source of differentiated cells. The current gold standard of endodontic procedures is the replacement of the destroyed pulp tissue with synthetic materials, e.g. gutta percha. However, the pulpless tooth loses its ability to sense environmental changes, making for example the progression of new caries or the fracture of the crown-covering mineralized tissues unnoticeable by patients. Major advantages of dental pulp regeneration are thus the maintenance of the tissue capacity to detect enamel and dentin-demineralizing oral microorganisms by resident or trafficking cells, to mount an appropriate immune and inflammatory response to these pathogens and to allow healing by depositing, at the pulp periphery, a dentin barrier intended to protect pulp against pathogen-derived harmful components. Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease resulting in progressive attachment and alveolar bone loss. It is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. Current treatments aiming at maintaining the structure and function of the periodontium are mainly based on bone substitute grafting and/or the use of membranes inserted between the gingival tissue flap and underlying bone to prevent harmful cells from growing. They have limited efficacy. Recent strategies involving biological molecules such as growth factors and enamel proteins still provide unpredictable results. Given the great variability and limits of current periodontal treatments, new therapeutic approaches for efficiently regenerating periodontal tissues are required.
For this issue, we encourage the submission of original research reports, review articles, commentaries, perspectives or short communications in the following topics (but not limited to):
- Emerging strategies for the regeneration of injured dental and periodontal tissues;
- Influence of host immunity and inflammatory events on the regeneration process;
- Use of postnatal stem/progenitor cells in regenerative endodontics;
- Molecular mechanisms of dental and periodontal cell differentiation and physiology.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.