Hormone Treatment for Controlling Gum Disease
Hormonal changes in women are a well-known risk factor in the development of gum disease, but new research reveals that hormones may also be beneficial in preventing gum disease. This research, which was published in the “FASEB Journal,” may lay the groundwork for the development of new periodontics treatments.
Researchers at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil used melanocortin antagonists to treat mice that were infected by a bacterium that causes a particularly aggressive form of gum disease. They also had control groups, including mice that were not infected, and groups that were infected but not treated. The infected, treated group was monitored and found to have reduced inflammation after the 30-day study had concluded.
Gum disease is caused by oral bacteria. The bacteria live in plaque, which grows near the gum line and inflames gum tissues. Without treatment, it can lead to bone and connective tissue loss. It is often marked by red, bleeding, swollen gums. It has been associated with cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections, diabetes, breast cancer, and kidney disease.
Current treatments focus on eliminating the source of the infection by cleaning plaque and tartar buildup. In patients who have suffered tissue loss, bone and soft tissue grafts may be needed. This research may reveal new therapies to combat the inflammation and help the body heal.
Preventive strategies include good dental hygiene, regular dental cleanings, and exams and a healthy diet. Call our dental office today to learn more or to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Mondavi.
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