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Periodontal Disease

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An FDA approved treatment out of Malmo, Sweden, has been proven to reverse periodontal disease. Flap surgery, the standard treatment, gets rid of the pocket between the tooth and gum but does nothing to strengthen the support of the tooth. Apparently a biotechnology company called Biora has developed a gel called Emdogain that is used to coat the root of the tooth during routine flap surgery. Modeled after a polymer found in seaweed, Emdogain contains amelogenin, a structural protein which recent studies have shown reawakens the same process that regulates the growth of teeth in infants.

Within two days of application, the gel biodegrades, leaving a layer of amelogenin on the root of the tooth. The amelogenin then attracts cells that form a coating of cementum. Then small ligaments grow into the cementum, which helps anchor the tooth to the surrounding bone. Additionally, treatment with Emdogain has been shown to stimulate the growth of both the lost bone and gum tissue.

Clinical trials involving over 300 patients have been performed in Sweden, and other studies are currently underway here in the United States. All of the individuals treated in these studies had periodontal gaps of five millimeters or more. Within 16 months of Emdogain treatment, two-thirds of the lost gum tissue had grown back and within three years that number has risen to 70% or more. Numerous patients have regained all of the lost tissue. Control patients or those who had adjoining teeth treated with a placebo have shown no improvement, and many have experienced further tissue loss. There have been no reported allergic or adverse side effects.

The September 1997 issue of THE JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PERIODONTOLOGY contains a lot more detail. Periodontists or dentists who would like more information can contact Biora's United States office at 888-BIORA-US.

 

 

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