Having diabetes can lead to periodontitis

Those with diabetes may end up with periodontitis, a gum infection which causes tooth loss. University of Pennsylvania researchers has found diabetes triggers changes in oral microbiome which increases inflammation and increases the risk of bone loss. Prior studies before this work did not show any evidence that diabetes affects the oral microbiome. In addition over four years ago, the European Federation of Periodontology and the American Academy of Periodontology issued a report describing how there is evidence that diabetes is linked to changes in the oral microbiome. The University of Pennsylvania researchers collaborated with Peking University, the University of São Paulo, Sichuan University, the Federal University of Minas Gerais, and the University of Capinas. The authors consulted with the Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Diseases. The researchers first explored the oral microbiome of diabetic mice compared to healthy mice. It was found … Read more

Gum Disease More Common With Old Age

A recent study which appeared in Nature Immunology shows that the deterioration in gum health which occurs with increasing age is associated with a drop in the level of a chemical called Del-1. Periodontitis is a disease of the gums which causes bleeding and bone loss which can, over time, lead to loss of teeth. Periodontitis  is caused by an over-active immune response to bacteria that grow in the mouth. As people age they are more likely to suffer from inflammatory diseases, including gum disease. The new research investigated gum disease in young and old mice and found that an increase in gum disease in the older animals was accompanied by a drop in the level of Del-1. Del-1 is known to restrain the immune system by stopping white blood cells from sticking to and attacking mouth tissue. In mice that had … Read more

Vitamin D Can Help Prevent Gum Infections

A study appearing in the June 2011 issue of Infection and Immunity titled “Vitamin D-Mediated Induction of Innate Immunity in Gingival Epithelial Cells.” written by Laura McMahon and et al. (vol. 79, no. 6, pages 2250-2256), suggests that making sure you have enough Vitamin D can help with the immune defense in the oral cavity. The authors found that an innate immune regulator TREM-1 can be induced by treating gingival cells with vitamin D. While still much work needs to be done looking at how exactly vitamin D can fight infections there is potential for targeted therapies in the future. The authors state “As vitamin D and calcium defciences can lead to increased inflammation, it is reasonable to hypothesize that there is an association with periodontal disease….vitamin D-mediated gene regulation of the innate immune response may be associated with the … Read more