Periodontitis is a oral disease in which there is loss of bone in the jaw. This bone is essential in holding the teeth in place in the jaw.
Periodontitis is one of the largest problems in dental hygiene in the U.S. it ranks second only to cavities. The American Academy of Periodontology have data that states that in the U.S, 30-55 percent of adults are affected by Periodontitis in a mild to moderate form. The percentage of the less fortunate people who suffer from a more severe stage of Periodontitis is 5 to 20 percent of the population.
Healthy human tissues regenerate themselves over a period of time.In Peridontitis, however, the rate of loss of the bone material is much faster than the rate of its regeneration. Though scientists have come to understand how bone material is lost, they have not yet found out a clear reason why new bone formation could be impaired.
What causes Periodontitis?
According to a new paper by UCLA researchers, it is suggested that a master protein may control the impairment of bone formation in the serious gum disease called Periodontitis.
In another paper published in the online edition of the journal Nature Medicine, researchers have again suggested that a master protein is involved heavily in the process of degeneration of the jawbone structure. They have identified a protein called nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB). They say it is this protein that is responsible for inhibiting regeneration of the bone material. Arresting the function of this master protein, called nuclear factor-kB, will help in maintaining the bone formation.
This NF-kB protein was recognized to play a part in cells that are responsible for resorbing bone. This is what could lead to loss of bone, or impairment of regeneration of bone material.
Research and development in treating Periodontitis.
Research and development in arresting degeneration of the jawbone and finding effective treatment for periodontitis is ongoing in order to improve oral hygiene and health. The UCLA researchers have used a different approach in their study of the NF-kB protein.
They have turned around their focus from the role of the NF-kB protein in cells that results in reabsorbing the bone and have chosen to look at the role it plays and its effects in inhibiting cells that are responsible in forming bone instead. They hope this will lead to better understanding of the dreadful disease and thus a better treatment of the disease eventually resulting in better oral health.