Collagen, the body’s most abundant protein, helps to hold the entire body together. It basically offers a scaffold to the tendons, skin, bones, and muscles, offering structure and strength to the body. Collagen that is made by the body plays many important roles in your health, and when collagen begins to breakdown and become depleted, many health problems may occur.
What Exactly is Collagen?
Collagen is a fibrous, insoluble, hard protein that accounts for about a third of the protein found in your body. These distinct molecules have a triple helix configuration that includes three alpha chains. Each of those chains has approximately 1,000 amino acids. While there are multiple types of collagen, most of the collagens found within your body are type I, II, or III collagens. The collagens that are found within the human body happen to be very flexible and strong, particularly the Type I collagen.
Collagen and the Human Body
The most common places for collagen to appear in the body is in the connective tissue, bones, and skin, since collagen offers elasticity and strength. In the dermis layer of skin, collagen creates a fibrous network, making a foundation upon which new cells are able to grow. Collagen is also needed to help with the restoration and replacement of skin cells that die off. Certain collagens also create protective coverings for certain organs of the body that are very delicate, such as your kidneys.
As you begin aging, collagen production starts to decline. This reduces the skin’s structural integrity, resulting in wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin. Joint cartilage often begins to weaken as you age due to the reduction in collagen production. Various cells secrete collagen, but connective tissue cells are the main producers of collagen. Once you reach the age of 40, there’s generally a significant decline in collagen synthesis within the body. The decline of collagen production becomes even more significant after the age of 60.
Since collagen has the potential to be broken down and the assimilated by your body, it has multiple medical applications. Collagen is often used as skin fillers to remove wrinkles, lines, and certain types of scars. For wound healing, collagen dressings may be used to help promote the healing and growth of new tissue. Collagen can also be used for implant and periodontal therapies for guided tissue regeneration.
Collagen for Endodontic Treatment
Did you know that collagen can be used as a scaffold in regenerative endodontic treatment for necrotic tissue? Contact Gulf Coast Endodontics and talk to an endodontist in Houston who can help keep your dental health at its best.