Salivary Melatonin and Periodontal Disease Severity

Dentistry Today


Salivary melatonin may play an important role in maintaining periodontal health, according to a new study published in the Journal of Periodontology—one of the first attempts to examine the influence of salivary melatonin upon periodontal disease. Researchers found that melatonin, a hormone created by the pineal gland, may be able to protect the oral cavity against free radicals produced by inflammatory diseases. Melatonin has strong antioxidant effects that can protect cells against inflammatory processes and oxidative damage. Melatonin supplements are commonly promoted to ease jet lag and hasten sleep. “Patients with higher salivary and melatonin ratios had lower community periodontal index (CPI). CPI is the score used to assess periodontal status,” said Pablo Galindo, DDS, Oral Surgery, School of Dentistry, University of Granada, Spain. “This finding suggests that the melatonin may fight against infection and inflammation possibly due to its antioxidant, anti-aging and immunoenhancing ability.” It was also observed that older patients had lower saliva volumes and melatonin ratios and higher CPI scores compared to younger patients with increased salivary and melatonin levels and decreased CPI scores.

(Source: American Academy of Periodontology, Sep 12, 2006)