New Stem Cell Research Could Be The Key Toward Teeth Restoration

stem-cell

stem-cell

Stem cells are the building blocks that build all our tissue in the body and could be the key toward teeth restoration. Finding reserves of stems cells in the body has been a task all onto it’s self. Now a new reserve has been found in the nerves of teeth as found by Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden .

“We have identified a previously unknown type of stem cells that surprisingly enough belong to the nerves of the tooth; these are nerves that would normally be associated with the tooth’s extreme sensitivity to pain,” said Kaj Fried at the Department of Neuroscience, one of the head researchers responsible for the study.

(biosciencetechnology.com)

Inside the center of the tooth is the living part known as the pulp. This region contains blood vessels, nerves from the gums, and cells that contribute to the structure and health of the tooth. If the tooth becomes damaged, these cells get to work making restorative tissues. However, researchers have failed to understand where these stem cells originate. Through mapping of tooth formation in mice, they discovered the nerves are actually the source of the stem cells.

The researchers discovered that young cells, which at first are part of the neural support cells, or the glial cells, leave the nerves at an early stage of the fetal development. The cells change their identity and become both connective tissues in the tooth pulp and odontoblasts, i.e., the cells that produce the hard dentin underneath the enamel.

Though currently we do not have the ability to regrow teeth in adults. This research is a good step in changing that fact. The future possibilities for this discovery are almost endless. Using these nerve tissues, it may be possible for scientists to manipulate the stem cells to form new adult teeth. As these teeth will essentially be copies of one’s original teeth, this innovative process may replace veneers and other restorative processes as the best form of teeth restoration.

There is still a lot of research to be done including identify the chemical signal that induces the glial cells into reversion. Yet this signals an extraordinary time in stem cell and dental research with a bright future.

Posted from Houston, Texas, United States.

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Poor dental hygiene can lead to more than just bad breath

dental hygiene

dental hygiene

Poor dental hygiene can lead to more than just bad breath and tooth decay. Not brushing your teeth could also have consequences for more serious illnesses.

Alzheimer’s disease & Dementia

In 2010, researchers from New York University (NYU) concluded that there is a link between gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease, after reviewing 20 years of data on the association.

However, the number of participants in the NYU study was fairly small. The researchers analyzed data from 152 subjects enrolled in the Glostrop Aging Study – a study looking at psychological, medical and oral health in Danish men and women. The study spanned a 20-year period and ended in 1984, when the subjects were all over the age of 70.

Comparing cognitive function at ages 50 and 70, the NYU team found that gum disease at the age of 70 was strongly associated with low scores for cognitive function. ( medicalnewstoday.com)

Also, July 31, 2013 — Poor dental health and gum disease may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, a new study from the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry suggests.

Although past studies have suggested a link between oral health and dementia, this is the first to pinpoint a specific gum disease bacteria in the brain.

Researchers looked at donated brain samples of 10 people without dementia and 10 people with dementia. They found the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis in the brains of four of those with dementia. (WebMD )

Pancreatic cancer

A team at Brown University, think gum disease may one day help identify people at greater risk.

Gum disease, which affects nearly half of all Americans, has been linked to stroke, diabetes and other ailments. The American Heart Association has disputed the notion that the association is causal, but some researchers speculate that poor gum health may give rise to chronic inflammation that promotes the growth of cancer cells.

In a recent study published in the journal Gut, the Brown researchers compared 405 people with pancreatic cancer and 416 who did not have the disease. The scientists found that higher levels of antibodies to P. gingivalis, a bacterium that plays a role in gum disease, were twice as common in people with pancreatic cancer.

To be sure, the research showed only an association, not a causal relationship. But other studies have also found intriguing results. One at Harvard found that men with poor gum health had a 63 percent higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer . (nytimes.com)

Poor dental hygiene has links to these and other diseases. So when you deciede not to take care of your teeth, it’s not just your smile neglecting, but your neglecting your health as well.

Posted from Houston, Texas, United States.

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Dentists and dental associations don’t agree with what’s the best way to brush teeth

If you asked people what is the best way to brush your teeth, you would get a wide variety of answers. Seems the answers are just was varied between dentists as well.

For the study published in the British Dental Journal on Aug. 8, a team of researchers from the University College London (UCL) examined the recommendations provided by dental associations, dental textbooks, as well as toothpaste and toothbrush companies on the best way to brush the teeth.

The researchers observed that there was lack of agreement on the recommended brushing techniques, frequency of brushing, and for how long. They also found that brushing recommendations for adults and children differed as well.

“In this study we found an unacceptably inconsistent array of advice from different sources,” said study author Aubrey Sheiham, from the UCL. “Most worryingly, the methods recommended by dental associations are not the same as the best ones mentioned in dental textbooks.” For one, no particular brushing method has been proven to be better than another. Study author and practicing dentist John Wainwright attributed the wide range of recommended brushing techniques to the lack of evidence that could show one method is better than the other.

The researchers, however, raised concern that the discrepancies over the proper way of brushing the teeth are something to be concerned about. Sheiham said that the public should get sound information on the best way to brush the teeth. She said that people would be confused on how to brush their teeth properly if they hear varying recommendations from a dental association, dentist and toothbrush companies.

Given the different and conflicting recommendations from dental experts, the researchers said that there is a need for a research that would assess the effectiveness of different brushing methods.

The ADA website has two minute videos to help your kids know when to stop. Even if you use an electric toothbrush, it is important to take your time, and never brush too hard or too quickly – it can damage both the gums and the tooth structure right at the gum line.

The nylon-bristled toothbrush most of us use was invented in 1938. The authors of the new study say it is about time there are more consistent guidelines on how to use it.

Posted from Houston, Texas, United States.

Posted in Dental Care, General Dentistry

Depression Drugs Could Lead to Dental Implant Failure

People who get dental implants may have to not only be careful about the physical health medications they take, but also the metal health medications as well. The International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) have published a paper titled "SSRIs and the Risk of Osseointegrated Implant Failure -- A Cohort Study. " Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), the most widely used drugs for the treatment of depression, have been reported to reduce bone formation and increase the risk of bone fracture. Since osseointegration is influenced by bone metabolism, this study investigates the association between SSRIs and the risk of failures in osseointegrated implants. his retrospective cohort study was conducted on patients treated with dental implants from January 2007 to January 2013. A total of 916 dental implants in 490 patients (94 implants on 51 patients using SSRIs) were used to estimate the risk of failure associated with the use of SSRIs. Data analysis involved cox proportional hazards, generalized estimating equations models and Kaplan-Meier analysis. After three to 67 months of follow-up, 38 dental implants failed and 784 succeeded in nonusers group while 10 failed and 84 succeeded in SSRIs-users group. The primary outcome was that compared with non-users of SSRIs, SSRIs usage was associated with an increased risk of dental implants failure (HR= 2∙31; P< 0∙01). The failure rates were 4.6% for SSRI non-users and 10.6% SSRI users, respectively. The secondary outcomes were that small implant diameters (≤4mm) (P=0∙01), bone augmentation (P=0∙04) and smoking habits (P<0∙01) also seemed to be associated with higher risk of implant failure. The main limitation of this retrospective study was that drug compliance dose and treatment period could not be acquired from the files of the patients. Within the limits of this study, these findings indicate that treatment with SSRIs is associated with an increased failure risk of osseointegrated implants. The manuscript, by researchers Khadijeh Al-Abedalla, Samer Abi Nader, Belinda Nicolau, Emad Rastikerdar, Faleh Tamimi and Xixi Wu, from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and Nach Daniel, from East Coast Oral Surgery, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, is published in the OnlineFirst portion of the IADR/AADR Journal of Dental Research(JDR). ( Dentistrytoday.com )   In summation, certain anti depressants can deplete the ability for the bone to heal properly after dental implant surgery. This can lead to implant complications or implant faliuers. That is why it is critical that you tell you dentist about any and ALL medications you are taking before dental implant surgery.

People who get dental implants may have to not only be careful about the physical health medications they take, but also the metal health medications as well. The International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) have published a paper titled “SSRIs and the Risk of Osseointegrated Implant Failure — A Cohort Study.

” Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), the most widely used drugs for the treatment of depression, have been reported to reduce bone formation and increase the risk of bone fracture. Since osseointegration is influenced by bone metabolism, this study investigates the association between SSRIs and the risk of failures in osseointegrated implants.

his retrospective cohort study was conducted on patients treated with dental implants from January 2007 to January 2013. A total of 916 dental implants in 490 patients (94 implants on 51 patients using SSRIs) were used to estimate the risk of failure associated with the use of SSRIs. Data analysis involved cox proportional hazards, generalized estimating equations models and Kaplan-Meier analysis. After three to 67 months of follow-up, 38 dental implants failed and 784 succeeded in nonusers group while 10 failed and 84 succeeded in SSRIs-users group.
The primary outcome was that compared with non-users of SSRIs, SSRIs usage was associated with an increased risk of dental implants failure (HR= 2∙31; P< 0∙01). The failure rates were 4.6% for SSRI non-users and 10.6% SSRI users, respectively. The secondary outcomes were that small implant diameters (≤4mm) (P=0∙01), bone augmentation (P=0∙04) and smoking habits (P<0∙01) also seemed to be associated with higher risk of implant failure. The main limitation of this retrospective study was that drug compliance dose and treatment period could not be acquired from the files of the patients.
Within the limits of this study, these findings indicate that treatment with SSRIs is associated with an increased failure risk of osseointegrated implants.
The manuscript, by researchers Khadijeh Al-Abedalla, Samer Abi Nader, Belinda Nicolau, Emad Rastikerdar, Faleh Tamimi and Xixi Wu, from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and Nach Daniel, from East Coast Oral Surgery, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, is published in the OnlineFirst portion of the IADR/AADR Journal of Dental Research(JDR). ( Dentistrytoday.com )

Summation of Dental Implant Failure Study

In summation, certain anti depressants can deplete the ability for the bone to heal properly after dental implant surgery. This can lead to implant complications or implant faliuers. That is why it is critical that you tell you dentist about any and ALL medications you are taking before dental implant surgery.

 

Posted from Houston, Texas, United States.

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Posted in Dental Care, Dental Implant, General Dentistry

You can’t hide your feelings! Women six times ‘more disgusted by dental treatment’ than men

You can’t hide your feelings!

After looking at pictures of dental treatment scenes, researchers discovered that female patients scared of the dentist were six times more likely to be disgusted with what they saw, compared with non-dental phobic women.

In a battle of the sexes, dental phobic women struggled to hide their emotions. Although both men and woman faired equally when asked about their feelings towards the dentist, women afraid of the dentist were more repulsed than their men counterparts.

Survey data from the Adult Dental Health Survey showed almost half of adults were moderately to extremely afraid of the dentist. With almost 30 million people visiting the dentist, Karen Coates, dental advisor at the British Dental Health Foundation, uses the research to reassure anxious patients that they are not alone and that there are ways make visiting the dentist a manageable experience.

Karen said: ‘The good news is that more and more dentists now understand their patients’ fears, and with a combination of kindness and gentleness can do a great deal to make dental treatment an acceptable, normal part of life. Make sure that the practice knows you are nervous, so that they can help you. You are not alone and your fear will be much less if you share it with your dental team.

‘Dentists are aware many of their patients have some form of anxiety. There are dentists who specialise in treating nervous patients and will make more time for you. Book appointments at a time of day when you feel at your best and when you do not have any other commitments to worry about. Allow plenty of time so that you can get to the practice in a relaxed frame of mind.

‘Agree with your dentist a sign that means ‘stop I need a break’ before the treatment is started. Usually you can just raise your hand, and the treatment can be stopped for a few minutes until you are ready to start again. Once you know that you can control the situation you will feel more confident.  Some people find that listening to music whilst they are having treatment can help. If you are still nervous there are other techniques your dentist can use to help you, such as relaxation and sedation so ask the team about these.

‘Patients anxious of the dentist are, in theory, likely to have poorer oral health than those who get regular check-ups. Even if you are fearful it is important to visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend giving them a chance a chance to assess your oral health.  Catching any problems whilst they are still small will mean that the treatment involved is much less and lighter on your pocket too. Truly a case that prevention is better than a cure.  Always remember that you are in charge of your oral health for the rest of the time and brushing, twice a day for two minutes using a fluoride toothpaste, will help to remove plaque – the cause of both decay and gum disease. It is also important to clean in between teeth using interdental brushes or floss.’

Posted from Houston, Texas, United States.

Posted in Cosmentic Dentistry, General Dentistry

10 quick ways to improve your oral health.

Meetings, kids, work,  it’s a lot to remember each day. Your oral health my not be the first thing on your mind, or even the 10th  when you get up in the morning or through out your day.  It is however a very important thing to always keep in mind. We have featured in the last weeks and months different studies on how oral health affects your overall health.

To help you get a jumpstart on taking control of your oral health here are some quick tips.

Floss Daily

Flossing removes plaque from between teeth and out from under the gum line, where a toothbrush can’t reach. Doing this daily helps prevent tooth decay and gingivitis. When left alone, plaque and tartar accumulate under the surface of the gum lines causing periodontal disease, which results in bone destruction and tooth loss.

Properly Flossing

To floss properly, wrap your floss tightly against your tooth and gently slide up and down under the gum lines two to three times. If bleeding occurs, this is most likely due to gingivitis or gum disease. When flossing daily, the bleeding associated with mild to moderate gingivitis usually discontinues after approximately two weeks.

Twice a Year Checkups

Having routine dental checkups and cleanings  every six months helps to promote good oral health as well as a beautiful smile. When cleanings are irregular, periodontal disease can develop. While this can cause unsightly swollen, receding and bleeding gums, it is also linked to health conditions like hear attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity, premature births and sleep apnea.

More Reasons for Checkups

In addition to removing stain and tartar from your teeth, your dental hygienist will also screen for health conditions like high blood pressure and oral cancer.

 Quit Smoking

Smoking causes staining to the teeth, which can yellow your smile. The stain from smoke is sometimes a superficial stain that can be polished off, but it can also soak deep into the enamel.

Smoking also inhibits healthy gums, allowing the gums to recede and develop large pockets around the teeth. This causes the teeth to appear longer and have dark spaces between them. Smoking also makes it very difficult to reverse gum disease.

Limit Your Coffee and Tea

Drinks like coffee and tea are known for causing stain to the teeth. Similar to smoking, the stain from these drinks can buildup a superficial stain that your dentist or hygienist can polish off, but it can also cause internal staining of the tooth enamel as well.

Drinking through a straw can help reduce the amount of stain on your teeth and may also help reduce the risk of tooth decay. It can also help to rinse your mouth frequently with water so that the dark liquid does not sit on your teeth for a long period between meals.

Buy The Right Kind of Tooth Brush

You get what you pay for, and when it comes to toothbrushes its no different. Top of the line electric toothbrushes are clinically shown to remove more plaque and achieve healthier gums than standard manual toothbrushes. If you’re not ready to spend the kind of money  for an electric toothbrush, be sure to purchase a soft bristled manual brush. While medium and hard bristled brushes are readily available on the market, dental professionals adamantly advise against their use. Stiffer bristles and aggressive brushing causes gums to recede and can wear enamel away from the teeth.

Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day

Even though this seems like common sense, many people still need to be reminded to brush their teeth at least twice a day. Because plaque can harden into tartar, frequent brushing allows the teeth to stay whiter and healthier than in people who brush infrequently.

How you brush is also important. Angle the bristles toward the gumline at a 45-degree angle, with just enough pressure to cause the tissue to blanch.

Water Water Water

Water is the healthiest drink for your smile and your body. It helps flush teeth clean and discourages tooth decay. Tap water is the best choice as it has the recommended dosage of fluoride. Many times bottled water comes from a source where the fluoride levels are not monitored, or contain no flouride at all. A healthy level of fluoride promotes tooth health and discourages decay.

 Get Dental Treatment as Soon as Problem is Noticed

Dental conditions never correct themselves on their own. Tooth decay if left untreated can easily transform a small cavity into a large tooth abscess. It is possible that  a spot where  a tiny filling may have been all that was needed, it may now require a root canal and a crown.

Treating tooth decay early means that smaller and less invasive dental restorations will be required. This helps maintain the structure and stability of the remaining tooth, not to mention keeps treatment costs lower. If left untreated, decay can spread to other teeth and may cause infections throughout the rest of the body.

Posted from Houston, Texas, United States.

Posted in Dental Care, Oral Health

The balance between acids and host protection in a healthy mouth disrupted by high acidity drinks

Dental researchers at the University of Adelaide are warning parents of the dangers of soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks and other drinks high in acidity, which form part of a “triple-threat” of permanent damage to young people’s teeth.

For the first time, researchers have been able to demonstrate that lifelong damage is caused by acidity to the teeth within the first 30 seconds of acid attack.

The researchers say drinks high in acidity combined with night-time tooth grinding and reflux can cause major, irreversible damage to young people’s teeth.

“Dental erosion is an issue of growing concern in developed countries, and it is often only detected clinically after extensive tooth wear has occurred,” says Dr Sarbin Ranjitkar, corresponding author of a paper on tooth enamel erosion published in the Journal of Dentistry.

Dr Ranjitkar is a member of the University’s Craniofacial Biology Research Group, which is part of the Centre for Orofacial Research and Learning. The research was conducted by School of Dentistry Honors student Chelsea Mann.

“Such erosion can lead to a lifetime of compromised dental health that may require complex and extensive rehabilitation – but it is also preventable with minimal intervention,” Dr Ranjitkar says.

Dr Ranjitkar says the number of cases of tooth erosion from the consumption of acidic beverages is on the rise in children and young adults.

“Often, children and adolescents grind their teeth at night, and they can have undiagnosed regurgitation or reflux, which brings with it acidity from the stomach. Combined with drinks high in acidity, this creates a triple threat to young people’s teeth which can cause long-term damage,” he says.

Dr Ranjitkar says parents should minimize consumption of any kind of soft drinks, sports drink, fruit juice or acidic foods to their children.

“Our research has shown that permanent damage to the tooth enamel will occur within the first 30 seconds of high acidity coming into contact with the teeth. This is an important finding and it suggests that such drinks are best avoided.

“If high acidity drinks are consumed, it is not simply a matter of having a child clean their teeth an hour or 30 minutes later and hoping they’ll be okay – the damage is already done,” he says.

Dr Ranjitkar suggests children consume fresh fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. “Although fresh fruit is naturally acidic, it is a healthier option to fruit juice, which can have additional food acids in it.

“The important thing to appreciate is that there is a balance between acids and host protection in a healthy mouth. Once that balance is shifted in favor of the acids, regardless of the type of acid, teeth become damaged,” he says.

 

Article from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/280676.php

Posted from Houston, Texas, United States.

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Possible Cause of gum disease related to type 2 diabetes

New research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests that modulation of B cells may effectively treat and/or prevent the symptoms of type 2 diabetes and periodontitis simultaneously

Those with Type 2 Diabetes may have new reason to celebrate.  In a report appearing in the August 2014 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, one of the most important blood cells involved in the human immune response, B cells, are shown to promote inflammation and bone loss in type 2 diabetes-associated periodontal disease. These findings support the idea that treatments that manipulate the responses of B cells may treat or prevent this complication.

“Our study identified common inflammatory mechanisms shared by type 2 diabetes and gum disease. It paves the way for the development of novel therapeutics which aim to simultaneously treat both type 2 diabetes and its complications,” said Min Zhu, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the department of microbiology at Boston University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts.

To make this discovery, scientists used an experimental model (mouse model) of periodontal disease and applied it to two groups. The first group had a genetic alteration that knocked out all B cells. The second group had normal B cell levels. When fed a low-fat diet, without development of obesity and type 2 diabetes, both groups demonstrated a similar extent of oral bone loss and inflammation. However, when they were fed a high-fat diet, became obese and developed type 2 diabetes, oral bone loss and inflammation occurred in the normal group with B cells, but did not develop in the group with the altered gene to knock out the B cells. This suggests that the B cell-response might be a viable target for pharmacological intervention in both type 2 diabetes and periodontal disease, as well as potentially in other type 2 diabetes complications.

“This is an exciting study that helps us better understand why some complications related to type 2 diabetes occur,” said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. “For those who are dealing with periodontal disease related to type 2 diabetes, this is especially exciting. B cell targeting drugs are available for B cell cancers and these new findings could open the door for applying new B cell-based treatment strategies for periodontal diseases and perhaps other inflammatory conditions.”

 

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental BiologyNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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Health Coaching Empowers Diabetics and improves oral health

By means of so-called health coaching, researchers at the University of Copenhagen have helped a large group of diabetics to markedly improve their oral health. The patients assume responsibility for their own bodies and boost their self-efficacy through motivational health coaching, taking a different approach to conventional health campaigns and one-way communication. The research findings have just been published in Clinical Oral Investigations.

Brochures with information about dental health or healthy living are fine. Motivational health coaching by professionals is far better and reaches out to high-risk groups.

Diabetics are at a higher risk of suffering oral health problems. Not just the most serious problems likeperiodontitis and caries, but also other issues such as dry mouth, fungal infections and poor wound healing. One hundred and eighty-six patients with Type II diabetes participated in a study – the first in the world – to demonstrate the role of health coaching in improving dental health and empowering patients. The patients with diabetes were divided into two groups. One group was given traditional health information, for example a brochure on good dental hygiene. The other group was offered motivational health coaching in the form of 3-6 sessions over a six-month period, focusing on personal guidance on, for example, diet, stress management and dental care:

“In the group of patients who were given personal health coaching, biological markers for periodontitis , also known as ‘loose teeth disease’ were reduced by as much as 50% over a six-month period. The patients in the trial group saw a significant decline in long-range blood sugar levels, whereas figures for the control group were unchanged. Moreover, the patients in the coaching group expressed markedly increased self-efficacy in relation to handling illness and health issues,” explains Assistant Professor and authorised coach Ayse Basak Cinar from the Department of Odontology at the University of Copenhagen.

The long-range blood sugar, also known as HbA1c, is an expression of the average glucose level in the blood over the past approx. three months. For the coaching group, this fell from 7.5% to 6.9%.

Greater equality

The new research findings may change the way we think about health campaigns in future.

“Health coaching is a resource-intensive intervention. However, dishing out a brochure to patients with diabetes and thinking that that will do it, is also a costly approach for society. Ineffective health communication due to a lack of creativity results in massive and costly problems for society. The patients we are in contact with are often both socially and financially vulnerable, and for them health coaching and follow-up can make a considerable and marked difference, both to their physical and mental health. It is also about equality in the health care system – both globally and nationally,” says head of section Lone Schou from the Department of Odontology.

The results are not only interesting because health coaching seems to make a huge difference compared with conventional health campaigns.

“It is also exciting that we are combining biological examinations of BMI, long-range blood sugar and bacterial markers with qualitative data obtained through interviews. All the biological examinations indicate better results for the trial group,” says Ayse Basak Cinar.

Danish-Turkish research with a global dimension

Assistant Professor Ayse Basak Cinar, head of section at the Department of Odontology Lone Schou and Professor Maximilian de Courten from Copenhagen School of Global Health are behind the new research results which have been published in Clinical Oral Investigations. The study involving 186 patients was conducted in Turkey, but Ayse Basak Cinar has received a grant from the Danish foundation TrygFonden which moves the trial to Denmark and secures Ayse’s employment in the coming year.

“I am keen to see how closely the Danish results will resemble those from Turkey, but I expect to see many similarities. Often, the most high-risk Type II diabetes patients in Denmark are of non-Danish ethnicity, so in that respect the studies will not be affected by marked cultural differences. The complications of Type II diabetes are a global concern which is monitored closely by the International Diabetes Federation,” says Ayse Basak Cinar.

Article from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271752.php

For Wellness Coaching in the Houston Area , Check out Montgomery Heart & Wellness

 

 

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Gum Disease Bacteria Selectively Disarm Immune System

Gum Disease

In healthy people, these bacteria are typically harmless and often helpful, keeping disease-causing microbes at bay. But, when disturbances knock these bacterial populations out of balance, illnesses can arise. Periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, is one example.

In a new study, University of Pennsylvania researchers show that bacteria responsible for many cases of periodontitis cause this imbalance, known as dysbiosis, with a sophisticated, two-prong manipulation of the human immune system.

Their findings, reported in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, lay out the mechanism, revealing that the periodontal bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis acts on two molecular pathways to simultaneously block immune cells’ killing ability while preserving the cells’ ability to cause inflammation. The selective strategy protects “bystander” gum bacteria from immune system clearance, promoting dysbiosis and leading to the bone loss and inflammation that characterizes periodontitis. At the same time, breakdown products produced by inflammation provide essential nutrients that “feed” the dysbiotic microbial community. The result is a vicious cycle in which inflammation and dysbiosis reinforce one another, exacerbating periodontitis.

“Scientists are beginning to suspect that keystone pathogens might be playing a role in irritable bowel disease, colon cancer and other inflammatory diseases,” Hajishengallis said. “They’re bugs that can’t mediate the disease on their own; they need other, normally non-pathogenic bacteria to cause the inflammation.”

“We asked the question, how could bacteria evade killing without shutting off inflammation, which they need to obtain their food,” Hajishengallis said.

The researchers focused on neutrophils, which shoulder the bulk of responsibility of responding to periodontal insults. Based on the findings of previous studies, they examined the role of two protein receptors: C5aR and Toll-like receptor-2, or TLR2.

Inoculating mice with P. gingivalis, they found that animals that lacked either of these receptors as well as animals that were treated with drugs that blocked these receptors had lower levels of bacteria than untreated, normal mice. Blocking either of these receptors on human neutrophils in culture also significantly enhanced the cells’ ability to kill the bacteria. Microscopy revealed that P. gingivalis causes TLR2 and C5aR to physically come together.

“These findings suggest that there is some crosstalk between TLR2 and C5aR,” Hajishengallis said. “Without either one, the bacteria weren’t as effective at colonizing the gums.”

Further experiments in mice and in cultured human neutrophils helped the researchers identify additional elements of how P. gingivalis operates to subvert the immune system. They found that the TLR2-C5aR crosstalk leads to degradation of the protein MyD88, which normally helps clear infection. And in a separate pathway from MyD88, they discovered that P. gingivalis activates the enzyme PI3K through C5aR-TLR2 crosstalk, promoting inflammation and inhibiting neutrophils’ ability to phagocytose, or “eat,” invading bacteria.

Inhibiting the activity of either PI3K or a molecule that acted upstream of PI3K called Mal restored the neutrophils’ ability to clear P. gingivalis from the gums.

“P. gingivalis uses this connection between C5aR and TLR2 to disarm and dissociate the MyD88 pathway, which normally protects the host from infection, from the proinflammatory and immune-evasive pathway mediated by Mal and PI3K,” Hajishengallis said.

Not only does the team’s discovery open up new targets for periodontitis treatment, it also suggests a bacterial strategy that could be at play in other diseases involving dysbiosis.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania.Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

 

Posted from Houston, Texas, United States.

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Posted in General Dentistry, Gum Disease

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