A New Way to Prevent Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease Prevention

As reported in sciencedaily.com, Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have been able to prevent periodontitis from developing and stop the progression of the disease in a mouse model.

Periodontitis to the uninformed is a form of chronic gum disease that affects almost half of the adults in the US. This is brought about by the imbalance of the bacterial community in the mouth, leading to inflammation and ultimately, bone loss.  Severe cases can affect the general health of an individual.

Published in the Journal of Immunology, the study as led by Toshiharu Abe, showed that Porphyromonas gingivalis, the bacteria accountable for many instances of periodontitis, acts to “hijack a receptor on white blood cells called c5aR”. This receptor is part of the complement system which is a component of the immune system which helps clear infection but can result in detrimental inflammation if incorrectly controlled.

By hijacking C5aR, P. gingivalis subverts the complement system and hinders immune cells, rendering them less capable of clear infection from the gum tissue. As a result, numbers of P. gingivalis and other microbes go up and create severe inflammation. Based on a study published last year by the Penn researchers, mice selectively bred to lack C5aR did not develop periodontitis.

You can read more about the study here.

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