New treatment for gum disease in diabetics

Going to the dentist may not be fun but for those with periodontal disease related to type-two diabetes, a new research may bring back their smile.

Scientists have found that B cells – one of the most important blood cells involved in the human immune response – are shown to promote inflammation and bone loss in type-two diabetes-associated periodontal disease.

The treatments that manipulate the responses of B cells may treat or prevent the symptoms of type-two diabetes and periodontitis or pyorrhea simultaneously.

“Our study paves the way for the development of novel therapeutics which aim to simultaneously treat both type-two diabetes and its complications,” said Min Zhu, a researcher from department of microbiology at Boston University’s school of medicine.

To make this discovery, scientists used a 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-two diabetes, both groups demonstrated a similar extent of oral bone loss and inflammation.

However, when they were fed a high-fat diet, oral bone loss and inflammation occurred in the normal group with B cells but did not develop in the group that had a genetic alteration that knocked out all B cells.

This suggests that the B cell-response might be a viable target for pharmacological intervention in both type-two diabetes and periodontal disease, as well as potentially in other type-two diabetes complications.

The research was published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.

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