New Enzyme Inhibitor May Help Reduce Effects of Gum Disease

An abstract moleculeA researcher from the University of Louisiana School of Dentistry has developed a method of inhibiting the enzyme that facilitates inflammation and subsequent bone loss. Your Livonia dentist, Dr. James Stewart, explains how the research published in the journal Molecular Medicine might change the way periodontitis is treated in the future.

Stopping the Inflammation

The enzyme GSK3b plays an important role in directing immune responses and is involved in multiple inflammatory signal pathways. Dr. David Scott, lead author of the paper, created a GSK3b-specific inhibitor, called SB216763, which keeps the enzyme from completing its normal function. This halts the inflammation process and, in the case of gum disease, eliminates the bone loss that normally occurs after contact with the periodontal pathogen, P. gingivalis.

Improving Treatment of Periodontal Disease

Treating periodontal disease is usually done externally, by eliminating plaque that forms on teeth and harbors harmful bacteria, or by keeping the disease from progressing. With the development of the inhibitor SB216763, periodontitis can be treated internally. By manipulating the way that our bodies are built to respond to P. gingivalis, this inhibitor renders the bacterium virtually powerless.

GSK3b and Other Diseases

GSK3b is not only involved in the inflammation of oral tissue, but in signal pathways all over the body. For this reason it is associated with multiple diseases and current testing is underway to determine what its impact might be on Alzheimer’s disease, Type II diabetes, and a few forms of cancer, among others. Unfortunately development of drugs utilizing the effects of SB216763 is far from clinical application. Scott and the rest of his team are now tasked with determining whether the inhibitor harbors any negative side-effects.

Contact Us Today

External care is still the most effective approach to treating existent periodontal disease. Dr. Stewart and his team advise brushing and flossing at least twice a day to ward off harmful bacteria, and recommends that all patients schedule regular dental cleanings and checkups. To schedule an appointment with your Livonia dentist call (734)425-4400. We serve families in Farmington Hills, Farmington, Plymouth, Northville, Novi, Dearborn Heights, Dearborn, Garden City, Westland, Redford, and surrounding areas.