Scientists Discover Possible New Weapon in the Fight Against Gum Disease

September 2016 Crownicle Newsletter

A study published online in The FASEB Journal shows that melanocortin agonism may effectively control the inflammation that often occurs in gum tissue. When unchecked inflammation ultimately accelerates tooth and bone loss. “Controlling inflammation during gum disease is a key step to avoiding alveolar bone resorption, tooth loss and, thus, improve the quality of life of patients,” said Mila Madeira, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Microbiology at the Biologic Science Institute at the Universidad Federal de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.

The research involved a study of several groups of mice, each being treated in a specific way. Melanocortin agonism was associated with reduced bone resorption and less inflammation, a critical feature to be controlled in gum disease.

“Attenuation of the inflammatory axis of periodontal pathology cannot be overstated in its importance,” said Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “These findings provide an entirely new approach to this highly prevalent condition.”

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