The Secret is in the Gums

It’s not new to dentists that their patients aren’t always 100% on top of maintaining their oral health. It’s especially easy to fall behind on consistent flossing, and many think that they can get away with out flossing for some time. The consequences of lack of maintaining oral health may result in varying severity for different people; however, no doubt that bacteria continue to grow and feed on leftover food and sugars in the mouth. Lack of proper oral care can lead to inflamed and bleeding gums, bone loss, all symptoms pointing to gum disease.

Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a disease, which causes the gums to bleed. Another symptom includes bone loss and can eventually lead to the loss of teeth over time. Gum disease has tied to the over-active immune response to bacteria in the mouth. Periodontitis is incredibly prevalent in the general population, spurring scientists to find new ways to approach this disease.

Researchers at the University of London with research groups in the United States published their findings in Nature Immunology, in which they looked closer at what may be the cause of gum disease.

Previous studies have connected these inflammatory diseases to age and have found that as people age they become more susceptible to such diseases. These researchers looked into periodontitis in young and old mice and found that there is an increase in gum disease in the older mice when they saw a drop of a chemical called Del-1. Del-1 is considered to be an important protein responsible for restraining the immune system through stopping white blood cells from attacking mouth tissue.

Scientists found that mice that lacked this important protein developed periodontitis and severe bone loss. When the mice suffering from gum disease were treated with Del-1, bone loss was reduced and the other symptoms of gum disease decreased as well.

Before this study, scientists were only aware of the correlation between age and gum disease, but could not pinpoint what exactly was causing the gum disease. This new research can lead to new treatment plans and even prevention plans for gum disease!

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questionsContact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.


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