Oral Bone Loss May Detected By Saliva

Loss of bone supporting the teeth is the main result of periodontal disease, which is also called gum disease.
Periodontal means around the tooth, and periodontal disease is a gum infection that affects the tissues and bone that support the teeth.
There is a pocket around the teeth which when healthy is usually less than 3mm deep. When not properly cleaned, the harmful bacteria in the pockets multiply and cause the tissues to get inflamed and damaged, which causes the dental bone loss. As the pockets get deeper, it gets more difficult to clean, which makes the disease progress; the end result of which is tooth loss.
If you have any of the signs below, you may have gum disease and need to get it checked out by your dentist.
Gums that bleed easily
Red, swollen, or tender gums
Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
Persistent bad breath, halitosis
Pus between the teeth and gums
Loose or separating teeth
A change in the way your teeth come together when you bite
A change in the fit of partial dentures
Researchers at the University at Buffalo have identified two components of saliva that may serve as the basis for novel tests to determine the risk for future loss of the bone that holds teeth in place. 
By comparing dental X-rays of 100 patients with analyses of their saliva, the researchers found that higher-than-normal levels of a salivary protein called IL-1-beta were associated with increased bone loss. 
The level of another protein, osteonectin, was inversely proportional to bone loss, suggesting this marker may serve as a measure of periodontal health. 
Results of the research, a collaboration between the UB School of Dental Medicine and the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions, were presented today (March 10, 2006) at the annual meeting of the International Association of Dental Research being held in Orlando, Fla. 
"These results show that above-average levels of IL-1 beta in saliva may prove to help the dentist decide whether or not to treat the dental patient for periodontal disease," said lead researcher Frank Scannapieco, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Oral Biology in the UB dental school. 
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