Charlotte, North Carolina (PRWEB) January 21, 2013
Dr. James Wells of South Charlotte Dentistry in Charlotte North Carolina is seeking new and better treatments for Gum Disease. In a recent interview he said “Gum disease is one of the worst diagnoses that I have to deliver to patients. Treatment of the disease is painful and expensive. I am constantly looking for new and improved methods for prevention and treatment.” He adds,” I see real promise in the new study by Toshiharu Abe and am looking forward to trying it in my practice.”
Gum disease (periodontitis) happens when there are too many bacteria in the mouth, or when the pH balance of the mouth is unbalanced. The result is gum inflammation which can be painful if not addressed quickly. Traditional methods of treating gum disease involve a thorough cleaning and regular maintenance, eventually leading to surgery if no improvement can be made without it.
Prevention is still the best way to prevent gum disease but often regular flossing, brushing, and oral maintenance are not practiced.
Now there may be a new method of treating and preventing periodontitis. Scientists are in the process of developing a technique for blocking the bacteria P. Gingivitis at the molecular level, thus stopping the bacteria from attacking the gums.
A team of researchers from Penn Dental School recently conducted experiments in which they have discovered that the bacteria attack a specific receptor in the white blood cells in the mouth. These white blood cells usually control infection, but will cause pain and inflammation if affected by the bacteria.
So researchers began to study this problem by breeding mice to lack this particular receptor. In these experiments, they successfully created mice that did not have the receptor. These mice were incapable of developing periodontitis.
The researchers at Penn have used this knowledge to develop a serum that will block the receptor, instead of having to breed the receptor out of patients. The serum was administered to lab mice with gum inflammation and it diminished inflammation by eighty percent.
"Regardless of whether we administered the [medicine] before the development of the disease or after it was already in progress, our results showed that we could inhibit the disease either in a preventive or a therapeutic mode," said George Hajishengallis, a research professor at Penn.
This new development will likely lead to a better method of gum disease treatment and may be a more effective and permanent treatment. Additionally, the treatment may help prevent gum disease caused by other bacteria, since not all gum disease is caused by the P. Gingivitis bacteria. Mice that had gum disease caused by other types of bacteria were treated. The new serum reduced the disease by up to 50 percent.
"Our ultimate goal is to bring complement therapeutics to the clinic to treat periodontal diseases," said John D. Lambris, co-senior author of the study. "The complement inhibitors, some of which are in clinical trials, developed by my group are now tested in various periodontal disease animal models and we hope soon to initiate clinical trials in human patients."
Dr. Wells is looking forward to the days when gum disease no longer exists and everyone has a clean and healthy mouth. Wells said “We’re a long ways from total prevention and cure of gum disease. It’s the kind of thing that sneaks up on people. One day they are fine and the next their gums are red and swollen. We look forward to a time when gum disease is a rarity.”
Check out Dr. Wells updates on Twitter to find out more information.