Could A New Drug Treatment For Gum Disease Be On The Way?

There are lots of diseases that can be treated by taking a pill – gum disease isn’t one of them. Drug treatment for gum disease is currently limited to topical antibiotics but a drug called Oxantel may add to our arsenal of treatment.Rothfus Family Dental can help you protect yourself from gum disease.

Gum disease affects one-third to one-half of the adult population and increases the risk for heart disease, arthritis, stroke and diabetes. A drug currently used to treat intestinal worms looks like it could be used to protect people from periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease that can even erode bone in the jaw.

The researchers were searching for a therapy to treat periodontitis and found that the periodontal biofilm (filled with bacteria) on the teeth needed certain molecules to grow and when these were restricted, the enzyme fumarate reductase was reduced. The drug,  Oxantel, was already known to reduce this enzyme and the researchers also found that it also disrupted the growth of certain bacteria in the biofilm on the teeth.

Seeking new treatment for gum disease is important, not only for oral health, but for our overall health. More and more research is linking gum disease to systemic diseases and untreated gum disease has also been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers and even poor pregnancy outcomes. A lot more research will be needed before scientists decide whether this drug will work in the real world for gum disease.

The best treatment for gum disease? Prevention, of course. Brushing two times per day and flossing once per day remove disease causing bacteria. Regular dental hygiene appointments allow us to clean bacteria that lives below the gum line where the toothbrush can’t reach.

Gums that are puffy, red or bleed during brushing are not healthy – but working together we can make them healthy again! Please contact Rothfus Family Dental in Medford, OR today at 541-858-7994 to schedule your next visit.