Authors: Bernick S, Nedelman C.
Title: Effect of aging on the human pulp.
Journal: J Endod
Date: Mar 1975
Citation: 1(3):88-94
Category: Endodontic Biology, Histology and Physiology
Evidence-based Ranking: 5
Purpose/Objectives: To determine the interrelationship between collagen, ground substance and the vascular and neural structures during the aging process and to determine the factors that produce fibrosis in old pulps of human teeth. Materials & Methods: One hundred non-carious extracted human teeth from patients age 15 to 75 were used in the study. The teeth were separated into two groups, teeth from patients younger than 40 and from patients older than 40. Immediately after extraction, the teeth were fixed in an alcoholic Formalin and acetic acid solution. The teeth were decalcified, embedded, sectioned from 15 to 100 micrometers and stained for microscopic evaluation. Results: The following observations were made on examination of the sections: 1) pulps of unerupted teeth showed stromas of loose connective tissue (CT) and only few blood vessels and nerves in the pulp; 2) the pulpal stroma of erupted functional teeth still consisted of loose CT but showed an increase in the number of blood vessels and nerves in the coronal pulp; 3) one of the characteristic changes in the pulp as a result of aging was the decrease in the pulpal area which was a result of continual deposition of occlusal dentin, calcified masses and dentinal apposition at and above the furcation area; 4) only large blood vessels were evident in the coronal pulp of unerupted teeth and large nerve bundles were limited to the apical region; 5) there was an extensive branching of both vascular and neural structures in young functional teeth; 6) there was an apparent decrease in the number of blood vessels and nerves that supplied the pulps of older teeth, along with a progressive deposition of calcified bodies; 7) as teeth aged, it was evident that a fibrosis of the pulp occurred and appeared to be related to the pathways of the degenerated vessels and nerves; 8) there seemed to be little difference in the appearance of the ground substance amongst the groups.

AuthorÂ’s Conclusion: In the aging process there is a progressive reduction in size of the pulpal chamber and a progressive deposition of calcified masses that originate in the root pulp and progress into the coronal pulp. As a result of the calcification of the blood vessels and nerves in the pulp, there is a decrease in the number of blood vessels and nerves in the coronal pulp. Regardless of age, the stroma of the pulp consists of fine collagenous fibers and an abundance of ground substance.

Validity of Conclusion: Conclusions are valid. ReviewerÂ’s Comments: This paper is a good review of the histology of the human pulp and changes that occur within the pulp throughout the development process.