Gum Repair for Diabetes Patients

Fosamax gel works for periodontitis patients with type 2 diabetes

(RxWiki News) Diabetes can affect the body from head to toe. It can even play a role in gum disease. Fortunately, there is a gel that can repair gums in diabetes patients.

Putting Fosamax (alendronate) gel in periodontal pockets (unusually deep pockets below the gum line) is a helpful treatment for gum disease in people with type 2 diabetes.

"Ask your doctor about gum disease if you have diabetes."

Fosamax is used to treat osteoporosis. It has been shown to increase bone density and bone formation.

A.R. Pradeep, M.D.S., from the Government Dental College and Research Institute in Bangalore, India, and colleagues wanted to see if Fosamax would treat gum disease in type 2 diabetes patients.

Gum disease, or periodontitis, happens when inflamed or infected gums go untreated. A pocket can form between the gums and teeth, which means the teeth have less support. Eventually, the teeth may fall out.

Regular brushing and flossing can help prevent periodontitis. Still, deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) may be needed to stop infection from getting worse.

From their study, Dr. Pradeep and colleagues wanted to see if the combination of scaling and root planing and Fosamax gel would be a useful treatment for type 2 diabetes patients with periodontitis.

They found that diabetes patients treated with Fosamax gel had better improvement than those treated with a placebo gel.

Fosamax treatment reduced patients' probing depth (the size of the gap around tooth and gum). Treatment increased their periodontal attachment level (the amount of tissue attached in the periodontal cavity). Fosamax also improved patients' bone fill compared to those treated with placebo.

For their study, the researchers treated 43 type 2 diabetes patients with periodontitis using either one-percent Fosamax gel or placebo gel. They measured probing depth, periodontal attachment, and bone fill two months and six months after treatment began.

The authors conclude, "[Fosamax] can be used as an adjunct to [scaling and root planning] to provide a new dimension in periodontal therapy in the near future."

Their results of this double masked controlled clinical trial are published in the Journal of Periodontology Online, an official publication of the American Academy of Periodontology.

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Review Date: 
March 19, 2012