Moderate Gum Disease Can Lead to Serious Consequences

Biomed scientists in San Antonio, Texas, conducted a study in which an animal model with moderate gum disease was exposed to an AIDS-like virus to discover whether or not inflammation of the mouth would increase the animal’s susceptibility to become infected with the virus.

In the study, scientists had two groups of animals, with  one set of monkeys without gum inflammation serving as the control group, while the other set of monkeys were induced with gum inflammation.  Both groups of monkeys were then exposed to an infection similar to AIDS.  Although scientists found no observed differences in the rate of infection between the two groups, they did observe those animals with gum disease did suffer more viral variants, which caused both infection and systemic inflammation after infection.

The results of this study are important, according to Luis Giavedoni, PhD, a Texas Biomed virologist and first author of the study, as it shows that even mild inflammation in the mouth can lead to serious health problems.  With more than fifty percent of the world’s population affected by moderate gum disease, the results of this recent study prove how important it is to control even mild inflammation in the mouth.

This recent study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was conducted at Texas Biomed’s Southwest National Primate Research Center, and included not only Biomed’s scientists, but scientists at the Dental School at UT Health Science Center San Antonio and at Seattle Biomed in Washington State, as well.

Original article can be found here.