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Light coaxes stem cells to repair teeth: Noninvasive laser therapy could radically shift dental... PDF Print E-mail

A Harvard-led team is the first to demonstrate the ability to use low-power light to trigger stem cells inside the body to regenerate tissue, an advance they reported in Science Translational Medicine. The research, led by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member David Mooney, Ph.D., lays the foundation for a host of clinical applications in restorative dentistry and regenerative medicine more broadly, such as wound healing, bone regeneration, and more.

The team used a low-power laser to trigger human dental stem cells to form dentin, the hard tissue that is similar to bone and makes up the bulk of teeth. What's more, they outlined the precise molecular mechanism involved, and demonstrated its prowess using multiple laboratory and animal models.

A number of biologically active molecules, such as regulatory proteins called growth factors, can trigger stem cells to differentiate into different cell types. Current regeneration efforts require scientists to isolate stem cells from the body, manipulate them in a laboratory, and return them to the body -- efforts that face a host of regulatory and technical hurdles to their clinical translation. But Mooney's approach is different and, he hopes, easier to get into the hands of practicing clinicians.

"Our treatment modality does not introduce anything new to the body, and lasers are routinely used in medicine and dentistry, so the barriers to clinical translation are low," said Mooney, who is also the Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). "It would be a substantial advance in the field if we can regenerate teeth rather than replace them."

The team first turned to lead author and dentist Praveen Arany, D.D.S., Ph.D., who is now an Assistant Clinical Investigator at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). At the time of the research, he was a Harvard graduate student and then postdoctoral fellow affiliated with SEAS and the Wyss Institute.

Arany took rodents to the laboratory version of a dentist's office to drill holes in their molars, treat the tooth pulp that contains adult dental stem cells with low-dose laser treatments, applied temporary caps, and kept the animals comfortable and healthy. After about 12 weeks, high-resolution x-ray imaging and microscopy confirmed that the laser treatments triggered the enhanced dentin formation.

"It was definitely my first time doing rodent dentistry," said Arany, who faced several technical challenges in performing oral surgery on such a small scale. The dentin was strikingly similar in composition to normal dentin, but did have slightly different morphological organization. Moreover, the typical reparative dentin bridge seen in human teeth was not as readily apparent in the minute rodent teeth, owing to the technical challenges with the procedure.

"This is one of those rare cases where it would be easier to do this work on a human," Mooney said.

Next the team performed a series of culture-based experiments to unveil the precise molecular mechanism responsible for the regenerative effects of the laser treatment. It turns out that a ubiquitous regulatory cell protein called transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1) played a pivotal role in triggering the dental stem cells to grow into dentin. TGF-β1 exists in latent form until activated by any number of molecules.

Here is the chemical domino effect the team confirmed: In a dose-dependent manner, the laser first induced reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are chemically active molecules containing oxygen that play an important role in cellular function. The ROS activated the latent TGF-β1complex which, in turn, differentiated the stem cells into dentin.

Nailing down the mechanism was key because it places on firm scientific footing the decades-old pile of anecdotes about low-level light therapy (LLLT), also known as Photobiomodulation (PBM).

Since the dawn of medical laser use in the late 1960s, doctors have been accumulating anecdotal evidence that low-level light therapy can stimulate all kind of biological processes including rejuvenating skin and stimulating hair growth, among others. But interestingly enough, the same laser can be also be used to ablate skin and remove hair -- depending on the way the clinician uses the laser. The clinical effects of low-power lasers have been subtle and largely inconsistent. The new work marks the first time that scientists have gotten to the nub of how low-level laser treatments work on a molecular level, and lays the foundation for controlled treatment protocols.

"The scientific community is actively exploring a host of approaches to using stem cells for tissue regeneration efforts," said Wyss Institute Founding Director Don Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., "and Dave and his team have added an innovative, noninvasive and remarkably simple but powerful tool to the toolbox."

Next Arany aims to take this work to human clinical trials. He is currently working with his colleagues at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), which is one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to outline the requisite safety and efficacy parameters. "We are also excited about expanding these observations to other regenerative applications with other types of stem cells," he said.

http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/health_medicine/dentistry/~3/uEXitem6AA4/140528150559.htm

 
Could red wine be used to prevent dental cavities? PDF Print E-mail
The human mouth is a complex habitat for hundreds of microbes. Drugs tackling these bacteria are prone to side effects, so scientists are now investigating natural remedies.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277305.php

 
Not just for the heart, red wine shows promise as cavity fighter PDF Print E-mail

For anyone searching for another reason to enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner, here's a good one: A new study has found that red wine, as well as grape seed extract, could potentially help prevent cavities. They say that their report, which appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, could lead to the development of natural products that ward off dental diseases with fewer side effects.

M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas and colleagues explain that dental diseases are extremely common throughout the world. Cavities, periodontal disease and tooth loss affect an estimated 60 to 90 percent of the global population. The problems start when certain bacteria in the mouth get together and form biofilms, which are communities of bacteria that are difficult to kill. They form plaque and produce acid, which starts damaging teeth. Brushing, fluoride in toothpaste and water and other methods can help get rid of bacterial plaques, but the effects are limited. In addition, currently used antimicrobial rinses can change the color of the gums and alter taste, so people are less likely to use them for as long as they should. Some research has suggested that polyphenols, grape seed extract and wine can slow bacterial growth, so Moreno-Arribas' team decided to test them under realistic conditions for the first time.

They grew cultures of bacteria responsible for dental diseases as a biofilm. They dipped the biofilms for a couple of minutes in different liquids, including red wine, red wine without the alcohol, red wine spiked with grape seed extract, and water and 12 percent ethanol for comparison. Red wine with or without alcohol and wine with grape seed extract were the most effective at getting rid of the bacteria.

The authors acknowledge funding from the MINECO (AGL2012-04172-C02-01 project), CONSOLIDER INGENIO 2010 and the Comunidad de Madrid.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/health_medicine/dentistry/~3/l-fu8Sc5Y_g/140521133617.htm

 
Promising new target for gum disease treatment identified PDF Print E-mail

Nearly half of all adults in the United States suffer from the gum disease periodontitis, and 8.5 percent have a severe form that can raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and pregnancy complications.

University of Pennsylvania researchers have been searching for ways to prevent, half and reverse periodontitis. In a report published in the Journal of Immunology, they describe a promising new target: a component of the immune system called complement. Treating monkeys with a complement inhibitor successfully prevented the inflammation and bone loss that is associated with periodontitis, making this a promising drug for treating humans with the disease.

George Hajishengallis, a professor in the School of Dental Medicine's Department of Microbiology, was the senior author on the paper, collaborating with co-senior author John Lambris, the Dr. Ralph and Sallie Weaver Professor of Research Medicine in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine. Their collaborators included Tomoki Maekawa, Toshiharu Abe, Evlambia Hajishengallis and Kavita B. Hosur of Penn Dental Medicine and Robert A. DeAngelis and Daniel Ricklin of Penn Medicine.

Earlier work by the Penn team had shown that the periodontal bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis can hamper the ability of immune cells to clear infection, allowing P. gingivalis and other bacteria to flourish and inflame the gum tissue.

"P. gingivalis has many mechanisms to escape killing by the immune system, but getting rid of inflammation altogether is not good for them because they 'feed' off of it," Hajishengallis said. "So P. gingivalis helps suppress the immune system in a way that creates a hospitable environment for the other bacteria."

The researchers wanted to find out which component of the complement system might be involved in contributing to and maintaining inflammation in the disease. Their experiments focused on the third component of complement, C3, which occupies a central position in signaling cascades that trigger inflammation and activation of the innate immune system.

The team found that mice bred to lack C3 had much less bone loss and inflammation in their gums several weeks after being infected with P. gingivalis compared to normal mice. C3-deficient mice were also protected from periodontitis in two additional models of disease: one in which a silk thread is tied around a tooth, promoting the build-up of microbes, and one in which the disease occurs naturally in aging mice, mimicking how the disease crops up in aging humans.

"Without the involvement of a different complement component, the C5a receptor, P. gingivalis can't colonize the gums," Hajishengallis said. "But without C3, the disease can't be sustained over the long term."

Building on this finding, the researchers tested a human drug that blocks C3 to see if they could reduce the signs of periodontal disease in monkeys, which, unlike mice, are responsive to the human drug. They found that the C3 inhibitor, a drug called Cp40 that was development for the treatment of the rare blood disease PNH and ABO-incompatible kidney transplantation, reduced inflammation and significantly protected the monkeys from bone loss.

"We think this drug offers a promising possibility for treating adults with periodontitis," Lambris said. "Blocking C3 locally in the mouth helps shift the balance of bacteria, producing an overall beneficial effect."

According to the researchers, this study represents the first time, to their knowledge, that anyone has demonstrated the involvement of complement in inflammatory bone loss in non-human primates, setting the stage for translation to human treatments.

The results, Hajishengallis said, "provide proof-of-concept that complement-targeted therapies can interfere with disease-promoting mechanisms."

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/health_medicine/dentistry/~3/Uc4sGBdQW2c/140520142410.htm

 
Oral bacteria may cause heart disease PDF Print E-mail
A University of Florida study shows that the same bacteria that cause gum disease also promotes heart disease - a discovery that could change the way heart disease is diagnosed and treated.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/276996.php

 
Dental Industry Professionals: Dangers of Online Defamation Explained (Infographic) PDF Print E-mail

By Colby

The world of online defamation continues to be a problem in today’s web society.  Thus, it is increasingly important that dentists and dental marketers understand defamation laws and what constitutes defamatory language online. If you are a dental marketer or a proprietor involved in the web, it is adviseable to increase your knowledge of this […]

The post Dental Industry Professionals: Dangers of Online Defamation Explained (Infographic) appeared first on Worldental.Org.

 
Gum disease bacteria may cause heart disease PDF Print E-mail

A University of Florida study shows that the same bacteria that cause gum disease also promotes heart disease -- a discovery that could change the way heart disease is diagnosed and treated. Researchers report their findings today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

"We report evidence that introduction of oral bacteria into the bloodstream in mice increased risk factors for atherosclerotic heart disease. Our hope is that the American Heart Association will acknowledge causal links between oral disease and increased heart disease. That will change how physicians diagnose and treat heart disease patients," says Irina M. Velsko, a graduate student in the University of Florida's College of Medicine, who presented the data.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the North America. Gum disease affects 46 percent of the U.S. population and is caused by bacteria that grow on the teeth under the gums. Although doctors know that patients with gum disease are at higher risk for heart disease, gum disease isn't viewed as a traditional risk factor for heart disease. In 2012, the American Heart Association published a statement that they support the association between gum disease and heart disease, but not causal association.

In the study, the researchers infected mice with four specific bacteria (Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola, Tannerella forsythia, Fusobacterium nucleatum) that cause gum disease and tracked their spread. Once the bacteria were detected in the mouse gums, heart and aorta, researchers saw an increase in risk factors, including cholesterol and inflammation, associated with heart disease.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, this study is part of a larger study on the effects of gum disease on overall health being conducted in the laboratory of by Kesavalu Lakshmyya in the University of Florida's Department of Periodontology in the College of Dentistry.

"In Western medicine there is a disconnect between oral health and general health in the rest of the body; Dentistry is a separate field of study from Medicine. The mouth is the gateway to the body and our data provides one more piece of a growing body of research that points to direct connections between oral health and systemic health," says Kesavalu.

"Our intent is to increase physician awareness of links between oral bacterial infection and heart disease. Understanding the importance of treating gum disease in patients with heart disease will lead to future studies and recommendations for careful attention to oral health in order to protect patients against heart disease," says cardiologist Alexandra Lucas of the University of Florida, College of Medicine, who is a co-investigator in the research.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/health_medicine/dentistry/~3/WksFpbfElD4/140518164339.htm

 
How-to: Correcting Common Tooth Spacing Problems PDF Print E-mail

By Colby

The Space in Between: Correcting Common Tooth Spacing Problems Your smile has never been picture-perfect, but you’ve always secretly admired the way that your friends, family, and even stranger smile. You wished you could have that kind of smile. Alas, the cost to close the gap between your teeth is way out of your reach, […]

The post How-to: Correcting Common Tooth Spacing Problems appeared first on Worldental.Org.

 
Hijacking bacteria's natural defences to trap, reveal pathogens PDF Print E-mail

Bad bacteria could soon have no place left to hide, thanks to new materials that turn the cell's own defenses against them.

Scientists at The University of Nottingham and GSK Consumer Healthcare have developed a technique that could locate the potential source of an infection by hijacking the normal processes of pathogens, thus revealing their location.

And by using fluorescent markers to tag these cells, they have even been able to detect them by using a simple mobile phone camera.

The breakthrough, published in the journal Nature Materials, could offer an easier way of detecting pathogenic bacteria outside of a clinical setting and could be particularly important for the developing world, where access to more sophisticated laboratory techniques is often limited.

The research was led by Professor Cameron Alexander, Head of the Division of Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering and EPSRC Leadership Fellow in the University's School of Pharmacy, building on work by PhD student Peter Magennis. Professor Alexander said: "Essentially, we have hijacked some of the metabolic machinery which bacteria use to control their environment, and used it instead to grow polymers which bind strongly to the specific bacteria that produce them.

"The neat thing about this is that the functionality of the polymers grown on the surface of the bacteria is programmed by the cells so that they can recognise their own 'kind'. We used fluorescent labels to light up the polymers and were able to capture this labeling using a mobile phone camera, so in principle it could be possible to use these materials as point-of-care diagnostics for pathogenic bacteria."

The study has shown that the bacteria helped to synthesize polymers on their own surfaces which not only were different from those made by conventional methods, but which retained a form of 'structural memory' of that surface. This means in future it should be possible to make specific detection agents or additives for topical anti-infectives that target a number of harmful bacteria all by a common route.

"The initial focus of the research was to explore ways to use synthetic polymers to selectively target and bind the bacteria that cause dental cavities and periodontal diseases in order to facilitate their removal from the oral cavity," said Dr David Churchley, Principal Scientist, Oral Health Category Research and Development, GSK Consumer Healthcare. "As we continued our work, we saw that our research had broader implications and potential for a wider range of uses."

Rapidly identifying harmful bacteria at the heart of a serious medical or dental condition can be a difficult and costly task. The group's findings may even lead to new ways of treating bacterial infections. "These types of polymers may be designed to contain antibacterial functionalities so that they specifically bind to and kill bacterial pathogens," said Dr Klaus Winzer, a microbiologist at The University of Nottingham involved in the study. The selective binding of specific bacterial species and/or strains in current practice requires expensive 'cold-chain' reagents such as antibodies which often preclude using these processes outside of a hospital setting or in developing nations.

The new approach, termed 'bacterial-instructed synthesis', has the potential for use in the developing world, in the field or in less specialised laboratory settings.

Dr David Bradshaw, Principal Scientist, Oral Health Category Research and Development, GSK Consumer Healthcare, said: "The ingredients used to form the polymers are all easy to obtain, inexpensive and widely available. With the simplicity and accessibility of the chemistry, a number of diagnostic and other applications may be possible."

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nottingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/health_medicine/dentistry/~3/hu5so7D3zdg/140511165410.htm

 
UPCD Endowment and Development Fund PDF Print E-mail
, MAY 8, 2014
 
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