- Gum disease is characterized by a sticky, colorless plaque on the teeth.
- Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria in the oral cavity is responsible for most of the gum diseases.
- Scientists from Australia discover the world's first vaccine for gum disease treatment.
A research team from the University of Melbourne, have developed the world's first vaccine for gum disease.
The vaccine was found to significantly reduce and eliminate the use of antibiotics and surgery for the treatment of severe gum disease.
‘Australian scientists hold high hopes on the newly discovered vaccine to treat gum diseases.’
The study findings were published in the journal NPJ Vaccines.
Periodontitis (serious gum infections) and gum diseases affect about one in three adults in Australia.
Around more than 50% of the Australians above the age of 65 suffer due to gum disease.
Gum diseases may destroy gum tissue and bone supporting teeth resulting in tooth loss. They are mainly associated with diabetes, heart diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and certain cancers.
The newly discovered vaccine will trigger immune response by targeting the enzymes produced by Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria. This inturn may produce antibodies which will neutralize the pathogen's destructive toxins.
Porphyromonas gingivalis is a gram negative bacteria which is found in the oral cavity. It is capable of distorting the balance of microorganisms in dental plaque which may develop gum diseases.
Eric Reynolds, CEO of Oral Health Cooperative Research Center, University of Melbourne also said, that the vaccine could reduce the destruction of tissues caused by the pathogenic bacteria.
He also said that even though antibiotics and surgery may help in treating gum disease, there were many cases that found the bacterium to be re-established in the dental plaque causing an imbalance resulting in gum disease.
Further clinical trials of the vaccine in humans will be carried out in 2018 to help improve the quality of life for millions of people.