Researchers have designed a safer, faster and cheaper cell-based regenerative therapy approach for the treatment of one of the most common human dental diseases, namely periodontitis. A destructive and painful condition that is marked by inflammation and subsequent loss of the gums and the supporting structures of the teeth, periodontitis is caused by bacteria that trigger inflammation of the gums that surround teeth. The proposed therapy design promises to address periodontitis without the shortcomings and limitations of regenerative therapies to date. By safely and effectively addressing one of the most common human diseases in both a time- and cost- efficient manner, the novel therapy represents monumental advantages to public health.
Symptoms of periodontitis disease include inflammation of the gums that surround teeth, which creates infected pockets that not only cause bone erosion and tooth loss but are also associated with worse health outcomes such as heart diseases or even Alzheimer’s disease. Periodontitis is currently treated via therapies such as infection-fighting methods, molecules that promote tissue growth, also known as growth factors, and tissue regeneration using autologous mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), or a patient’s own bone marrow stem cells that belong to skeletal tissues such as cartilage, bone and fat. The ultimate goal of periodontal disease treatment is the reorganization of functional tissue that can regenerate the tissue that has been lost due to disease. However, the side effects of current regenerative treatments have been limited depending on age, systemic disease and tissue quality and as such have been associated with severe defects.