The periodontal ligament (PDL) is an essential fibrous tissue for tooth retention in the alveolar bone socket. PDL tissue further functions to cushion occlusal force, maintain alveolar bone height, allow orthodontic tooth movement, and connect tooth roots with bone. Severe periodontitis, deep caries, and trauma cause irreversible damage to this tissue, eventually leading to tooth loss through the destruction of tooth retention. Many patients suffer from these diseases worldwide, and its prevalence increases with age. To address this issue, regenerative medicine for damaged PDL tissue as well as the surrounding tissues has been extensively investigated regarding the potential and effectiveness of stem cells, scaffolds, and cytokines as well as their combined applications. In particular, PDL stem cells (PDLSCs) have been well studied. In this review, I discuss comprehensive studies on PDLSCs performed in vivo and contemporary reports focusing on the acquisition of large numbers of PDLSCs for therapeutic applications because of the very small number of PDLSCs available in vivo.
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