New Technology May Help Thwart Gum Disease



A new method may be used to help treat gum disease.

A technology that utilizes controlled-release capsules filled with protein could be injected in the area between the gums and teeth. This would serve to battle the disease and limit its effects while also enabling the gum tissue to regrow. The technology was unveiled at the 244th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia.

Steven Little and the rest of the University of Pittsburgh research team experimented with this technology on mice. The results indicated that technology did promote regrowth of gum tissue.

A bacterial infection causes periodontal disease. It first shows up as tenderness and bleeding of the gums.

Many scientists are looking at alternative ways to eliminate bacteria. This technology, however, focuses on the inflammation process, which makes it unique compared to most other studies.

To successfully inject the controlled-release capsules in the gums, the research team developed protein encased in a type of plastic polymer material. The polymer releases the protein inside after breaking down. The protein is produced by the body to lure specialized white blood cells to a specific site. In prior studies, the researchers attempted to keep the cells away from the gums in an attempt to block the inflammation.

The results from the mice enabled the researchers to proceed with this study.