Friday, September 01, 2006

Anti-Inflammatory Drug Might Ease Gum Disease

(HealthDay News) -- In tests on rabbits, a byproduct of omega-3 fatty acids helped protect the animals from the unhealthy effects of gum disease.
Boston University researchers say topical application of the eicosapentanoic acid-derived Resolvin E1 (RvE1) helped prevent soft tissue inflammation and destruction, as well as bone loss associated with periodontal disease.
The team was to present the findings Friday at the annual meeting of the American Association for Dental Research in Orlando.
The finding suggest that inflammation may be a good target in the treatment of gum disease, the researchers said.
Resolvins are a new family of biologically active products of omega-3 fatty acids and natural regulators of the inflammatory process.
The Boston group pointed out that gum disease is similar to other chronic inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, where inflammation causes tissue damage.
Currently, oral hygiene and regular dental care are used to control plaque and prevent gum disease. However, plaque control may not be enough to prevent gum disease in susceptible people with a high inflammatory response, according to the study authors.
More information
The American Dental Association offers advice about oral hygiene.

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