Do Gums Hold the Key to Controlling Inflammation?

A healthy smile is well-equipped to defend itself against most dental issues. For instance, your teeth are protected by the strongest substance your body produces, called tooth enamel, which protects your teeth from damage and disease. Your saliva consists mostly of water to help neutralize acids and rinse away harmful oral bacteria. Today, we explore another wonder that can be discovered tucked away in your gingival tissue—adult stem cells that can aid in tissue regeneration, as well as fight the destruction of untamed tissue inflammation.

What Are Gingival Mesenchymal Stem Cells (GMSCs)?

Stem cells are essentially blank cells that possess two vital properties; they can differentiate into separate, specific cell types, and they can reproduce by dividing into identical daughter cells (a process called mitosis). As such, stem cells are a source of intense attention and research across the globe for experts seeking to harness their potential. In their search, experts discovered that gingival tissues, or gums, contain a wealth of such cells, known as gingival mesenchymal stem cells (GMSCs). Like all stem cells, GSMCs not only have the ability to transform into different cell types; they can also affect your immune system.

Gingival Stem Cells and Their Effects on Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural immune response that is meant to drive out harmful microbes, but can also damage soft tissues in excess. In fact, inflammation is the driving force behind one of oral health’s most destructive diseases, gum disease. In a study published by the International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR), researchers examined the abilities of gingival stem cells to fight inflammation. When scientists transplanted GMSC into mice suffering from colitis (an inflamed colon), the inflammation was significantly reduced, suggesting that gingival stem cells may one day play a vital role in controlling gum disease and other chronic inflammatory diseases.

Learn More About the Importance of Gum Health

Though the stem cells found in your gingival tissue may one day revolutionize gum disease and other treatments, you can effectively manage or prevent inflammatory gum disease today with proper care and maintenance. To learn more about modern gum disease control, or if you notice inflammation or bleeding in your gums, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kania by calling her periodontal office in Encinitas/San Diego, CA, at (760) 642-0711.