Researchers from King’s College London have discovered that metformin, a commonly used type 2 diabetes drug, might be effective in treating gum disease in non-diabetic individuals and also help in preventing bone loss due to periodontal disease or aging.
About Gum Disease:
- Nearly 19% of adults globally suffer from severe periodontal disease.
- It happens when the tissues anchoring the teeth get infected, leading to potential bone damage in the mouth and eventual tooth loss if not treated.
- Metformin’s Potential:
- Prior studies have established the anti-inflammatory attributes of metformin, hinting at its protective nature against conditions like cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and some cancers.
- Previous research has also highlighted metformin’s role in reducing the risk of aging-related ailments and cutting down levels of AGEs, which are markers of aging.
- Study Findings:
- In the mouse model, metformin showed a notable prevention of bone loss due to induced periodontal disease and age-linked bone loss.
- In a clinical trial with 20 participants suffering from gum disease (but not diabetes), the results showed that those administered with metformin displayed improved outcomes in their gum disease treatment. Furthermore, metformin was found effective in controlling sugar levels and inflammation, even in the presence of high bacterial levels.
- Dr. Neves’ Insight:
- Dr. Vitor Neves, lead author of the study, expressed surprise at metformin’s efficacy in preventing significant bone loss.
- He emphasized that while maintaining oral hygiene is crucial, the study’s findings hint at the potential of metformin in preventing gum disease and in overall health improvement due to its stabilizing effect on glucose levels, enhancement of insulin sensitivity, and inflammation control.
Conclusion: Metformin, commonly associated with diabetes treatment, holds promise beyond its primary use. Its potential in treating gum disease and promoting healthy aging opens up new avenues for further research and therapeutic applications.