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Hormone Therapy Could Treat Gum Disease

Hormone Therapy Could Treat Gum Disease

Our team of dentists in Eugene, OR remain committed to keeping patients up-to-date on the latest new that concerns exciting breakthroughs regarding the treatment of gum disease. Gingivitis and periodontitis represent a serious threat to our long-term oral and overall health. In recent years, a growing amount of research has found compelling links between gum disease and range of chronic long-term illnesses that include cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, and cancer. Lowering your risk of these diseases means protecting your oral health from the oral bacteria that causes gum disease.

The fight against gum disease may have found a new weapon, according to the results of a new study. Stimulating the action of a hormone may help to prevent the inflammation and other effects in gum disease that contributes to tooth loss, finds a study published in the The FASEB Journal.

Researchers in Brazil who were involved with the study discovered that treatment with melanocortin agonists stopped inflammation in mice, suggesting it could lead to a treatment for gum disease in humans as well.

The Fight Against Gum Disease

A bacterial infection, gum disease causes red, inflamed, and bleeding gums, but the disease can also cause bone loss and has been linked to a variety of chronic illnesses if not treated over the long-term.

Based on recent studies that have suggested melanocortin peptides, a hormone, could control some of the bone loss associated with gum disease, researchers at the Federal University of Mina Gerais tested its effects on mice.

As part of the study, researchers treated mice infected with Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans – which causes a severe form of gum disease to develop – divided into one of four different groups: One was treated with melanocortin agonist, one was infected but not treated, another was treated with a placebo and the final group was neither exposed, treated or suffered from gum disease.

Researchers discovered that mice treated each day for one month with the hormone agonist experienced a reduction in inflammation and preservation of bone physiology, suggesting melanocortin could be used to fight the disease.

Controlling inflammation during gum disease ranks as a vital part in avoiding alveolar bone resorption and tooth loss, stated researchers who hope this new type of treatment could improve the lives of millions of patients around the world who suffer from advanced gum disease.

Protecting Your Oral Health

Fortunately, you can take preventative measures to protect your oral health from gum disease by practicing three easy steps:

  1. Brush twice a day. Brushing at least twice a day helps to remove harmful oral bacteria from your mouth. By removing plaque and food particles that linger after eating from your mouth, you significantly reduce the risk of developing cavities, gum inflammation, or gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time. The ideal times to brush – if you cannot brush after each meal – is once in the morning and again before bed.
  2. Floss daily. Despite recent news reports that have questioned the need to floss at all, our team of dentists in Eugene, OR remain committed to the idea that flossing helps to significantly reduce your risk of cavities and disease. That’s because flossing helps to remove food and bacteria from areas of your mouth a toothbrush just cannot reach – between your teeth and below the gum line.
  3. Schedule regular dental appointments. Regular dental care helps to protect your oral health from decay and gum disease. Regular checkups and exams provide our team of dentists with the opportunity to spot the signs of gum disease and tooth decay early on while both conditions are still easily treatable.

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