Collaboration to Tackle New Treatments for Periodontal Disease

Dentistry Today


Numerous studies have shown that problems with oral health are strong co-indicators of other serious diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Now, a research team will explore innovative treatment options for periodontal diseases, specifically exploring ways to use combinatory antimicrobial approaches to disrupt biofilm such as plaque to increase the effectiveness of treating harmful oral bacteria.

Titled “Novel Strategies for Treatment of Periodontal Disease and Remediation of Oral Dysbosis,” the project comprises researchers from Wilfrid Laurier University, McMaster University, and the University of Toronto, as well as Mirexus Biotechnologies, funded by a GlycoNet Collaborative Team Grant. Also known as the Canadian Glycomics Network, GlycoNet is a pan-Canadian, multidisciplinary research network funded by the Canadian government aimed at delivering solutions to important health issues via the study of glycomes.

Mirexus Biotechnologies produces PhytoSpherix, an edible, water soluble, and biodegradable nanomaterial that’s chemically identical to glycogen and extracted from non-genetically modified corn. The human body stores glycogen, which is a natural polysaccharide, as a source of energy. Mirexus is currently investigating how PhytoSpherix can be leveraged across a variety of personal care applications.  

The researchers aim to characterize biofilms formed during the establishment of a normal microflora compared to co-cultures of periodontal pathogenic organisms. Also, they will evaluate the changes to perio-pathogenic biofilms versus normal oral biofilms when challenged with combinations of various therapeutic and biofilm-disruptive additives to suggest novel treatment options that can be evaluated.  

According to GlycoNet, Canadians spent approximately $12.8 billion on dental care and treatment costs in 2009, which was second in the nation only to cardiovascular disorders. Considering this financial burden as well as the increased risk of mortality associated with periodontal diseases and their connection with other systemic illnesses, the researchers believe that identifying innovative periodontal treatment options is a major health priority.

“GlycoNet’s support has brought together a unique team to tackle an important problem, and we will be excited to focus on this new opportunity in the commercialization of our unique, natural nanomaterial,” said Phil Whiting, president and CEO of Mirexus.

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