A newly discovered bacterium that causes gum disease also prompts protective proteins the mouth to actually destroy more bone, a University of Michigan study found.
It’s been known for decades that bacteria are responsible for periodontitis or gum disease, however they have not identified the bacterium until now, according to the June 11 press release.
“Identifying the mechanism that is responsible for periodontitis is a major discovery,” said Yizu Jiao, a postdoctoral fellow at the U-M Health System, and lead author of the study appearing in the recent issue of the journal Cell Host and Microbe.
The study also produced another discovery of the gum disease-causing bacterium called NI1060 also triggers normal protective protein in the mouth called Nod1, to become duplicitous and actually deploy bone-destroying cells. Under good oral health circumstances, Nod1 fights harmful bacterium in the body.
This is an important discovery because by understanding what causes gum disease at this level could help develop personalized therapy for dental patients.