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AChems Press Release

The bitter truth about gum health

Newly discovered taste-like sensory cells in the gums help prevent periodontal disease by sensing and regulating the types and amount of oral bacteria.

Periodontal disease, which results from bacterial infection and inflammation of the gums and bone around the teeth, affects nearly half of US adults over 30. We discovered that the gums contain the same kind of taste-related sentinel cells that detect parasites in intestines and pathogenic bacteria in airways and showed that these oral sensors detect pathogenic bacteria in the gums to trigger protective immune responses. By increasing understanding of how these oral sensors help regulate the number and types of bacteria in our mouths (the oral microbiome), our research will help identify new ways to prevent and treat periodontal disease. (contact Dr. Marco Tizzano; mtizzano@monell.org; +1 267 519-4845)

The poster presentation “Gingival Solitary Chemosensory Cells (Sccs) Protect Against Periodontitis And Oral Bone Loss” (#P108) takes place Wednesday, 18 April, 8:00 – 10:30 am ET in the Estero Ballroom.

Full author list: Marco Tizzano, Xin Zheng, Xuedong Zhou, Robert F. Margolskee