Proof Of Concept Study Explores Probiotic Approach To Treating Gum Disease

A new study published in the November issue of the Journal of Dental Research shows that application of beneficial bacteria as an adjunct to traditional therapy may become a valid, non-antibiotic treatment approach for periodontitis (gum disease). In this small-scale animal study, researchers applied a mixture of beneficial bacteria after scaling and root planing (removal of bacterial plaque from the crown and root of the tooth surface), a concept called Guided Pocket Recolonization, or GPR. With the emergence of antibiotic resistance and the lack of non-antibiotic treatment options, this GPR approach may provide a valuable addition or alternative to treatment options for periodontitis.

This is the first study to test the concept of bacterial replacement therapy in the treatment of plaque-related periodontal disease, and analysis of the data showed, in a beagle dog model, that when beneficial bacteria were applied in periodontal pockets adjunctively after root planing, repopulation by bacteria associated with gum disease was delayed and reduced, as was the degree of inflammation, at a clinically significant level.

"While this NIDCR-funded investigation provides a proof of concept that the application of beneficial bacteria may supplement traditional methods of periodontal therapy, additional studies are needed to determine how this concept can be applied in the clinical practice of periodontology," said Wim Teughels, corresponding author and professor in the Department of Periodontology at Catholic University Leuven. "The principal investigator, Marc Quirynen, also a professor at Catholic University Leuven, and the international team behind this project are continuing investigations with a focus on testing beneficial bacteria that are both helpful and non-pathogenic to humans. We hope the current study will inspire other investigators to consider periodontal disease therapy from this novel perspective."

The Journal of Dental Research (JDR) is the official publication of the International & American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR), and continues to hold the top SIF ranking of all dental journals worldwide. The IADR is a non-profit organization with more than 11,000 individual members worldwide, dedicated to: (1) advancing research and increasing knowledge to improve oral health, (2) supporting the oral health research community, and (3) facilitating the communication and application of research findings for the improvement of oral health worldwide. The AADR is the largest Division of the IADR, with more than 4,000 members in the United States.

International Association for Dental Research


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