Scientists Continue Efforts to Understand Severe Gum Disease

HappyCoupleSevere gum disease is clinically termed periodontitis. The condition afflicts nearly 50% of the adult population in the United States. Inflammation of gum tissues and the development of periodontal pockets results in tooth loss and jawbone density diminishment. In fact, periodontitis is the number one cause of adult tooth loss. Many scientific research studies point to periodontitis as having systemic impact on overall health. This means just a little gum disease which might not seem very serious could end up a gateway for serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Pella, IA dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Allen points to one particular study which focuses on stopping periodontitis before it develops.

Understanding Germs

The Journal of Immunology published a study helmed by a postdoctoral researcher – Toshiharu Abe – from the Department of Microbiology in Penn’s School of Dental Medicine. The research was overseen by Abe’s professor – George Hajishengallis. An impressive group of scientists also helped with co-authoring the study which focused on the bacteria responsible for periodontitis. These germs essentially hijack white blood cell receptors. This incites inflammation and weakens the immune system, opening the door for periodontitis.

A Little Help from Rodents

The experiment looked at the blood cell receptors with the help of laboratory mice. The rodents were injected with various molecules that activated receptors. This proved that severe gum disease development or progression could be halted. Relationships between molecules shed light on how gum disease issues are triggered. This data highlights a molecular ramp up leading to an inflammatory response. By blocking one set of receptors, gum inflammation could potentially be completely stopped.

Visit your Pella, IA Dentist

Your dentist in Pella, IA, is also happy to provide a full range of comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule an appointment. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions.