MELBOURNE RESEARCHERS GIVE SHOT IN THE ARM IN FIGHT AGAINST GUM DISEASE

Vaccination may be a controversial topic in some circles but it remains the best way to protect ourselves against disease.

image of MELBOURNE RESEARCHERS GIVE SHOT IN THE ARM IN FIGHT AGAINST GUM DISEASE
Blog spacer
Hygiene practices, cross-infection prevention and sterilisation procedures are effective methods of stopping the spread of diseases but the' good ol' human immune system takes some beating. Hence why vaccination is so useful!

Now, it seems, that scientists at the University of Melbourne have come up with a vaccine against gum disease (periodontitis). The Australian team have been working on the project for the past 15 years and hope to start clinical trials in 2018. If it proves successful it will mean less surgery and less need for prescribing antibiotics which, given the concern on the overuse of antibiotics world-wide, is welcome news.

Gum disease is an inflammatory response that occurs when the balance of flora in the mouth spirals out of control, this is caused primarily by poor oral hygiene but can be exacerbated by diabetes, dry mouth syndrome and there is even evidence for a genetic disposition towards it. There is a whole arsenal of brushes, flosses and rinses in the battle against gum disease but given that most people have the early stages of the condition it would seem that we are not in the habit of regularly using them!

Recent studies have also linked gum disease with heart disease, diabetes and dementia so keeping gum disease under control is becoming increasingly important.

Whilst it would be a mistake to think that such a vaccination would 'do away' with conventional tooth and gum cleaning methods it would certainly be an improvement for many millions who are currently at risk of gum recession and tooth loss caused by the disease.

Image:

Polio vaccination... By Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC National Immunization Program (direct link, archive link), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=110361