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Inflammation fighting gel treats gum disease
A topical gel that blocks the receptor for a metabolic byproduct called succinate treats gum disease by suppressing inflammation and changing the makeup of bacteria in the mouth, according to a new study led by researchers at NYU College of Dentistry.
Gum disease is one of the most prevalent inflammatory diseases, affecting nearly half of adults 30 and older. It is marked by three components: inflammation, an imbalance of unhealthy and healthy bacteria in the mouth, and destruction of the bones and structures that support the teeth. Uncontrolled gum disease can lead to painful and bleeding gums, difficulty chewing, and tooth loss.
To see if blocking the succinate receptor could ameliorate gum disease, the researchersdeveloped a gel formulation of a small compound that targets the succinate receptor and prevents it from being activated. In laboratory studies of human gum cells, the compound reduced inflammation and processes that lead to bone loss.
The compound was then applied as a topical gel to the gums of mice with gum disease, which reduced local and systemic inflammation and bone loss in a matter of days. In one test, the researchers applied the gel to the gums of mice with gum disease every other day for four weeks, which cut their bone loss in half compared to mice who did not receive the gel.
Mice treated with the gel also had significant changes to the community of bacteria in their mouths. Notably, bacteria in the Bacteroidetes family-which include pathogens that are known to be dominant in gum disease-were depleted in those treated with the gel.
Xin Li et al, Cell Reports, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111389
B.Sc Life Sciences, M.Sc Biotechnology, B.Ed
Isra Zaman is a Life Science graduate from Daulat Ram College, Delhi University, and a postgraduate in Biotechnology from Amity University. She has a flair for writing, and her roles at Medicaldialogues include that of a Sr. content writer and a medical correspondent. Her news pieces cover recent discoveries and updates from the health and medicine sector. She can be reached at email@example.com.