Xerostomia Patients Can Benefit From The New Research

Bad breath and dry mouth is a common part of human development and typically is resolved with daily oral hygiene and proper diet. For some dry mouth sufferers, the complications with residual foul odor may be attributed to more advanced health complications for which treatment is quite extensive. If you have xerostomia, or chronic dry mouth, that is coupled with bad breath this could be an indication of a possible cancer risk.
 
In patients who have cancer of the throat, stomach, or even oral cancer, there can be a greater risk for chronic bad breath and the development of chronic dry mouth. Because the body detects cancer as a foreign toxin, and subsequently works to battle the disease naturally, you may find that your mouth is more dry than normal and this, ultimately, can lead to bad breath.
 
When seeking out treatment for xerostomia and chronic bad breath, be sure to ask your physician to run the necessary testing to rule out, or confirm, the presence of a possible cancer risk. Typically this type of health complication can be diagnosed early with simple blood work and, if necessary, CT scan or MRI study of the questionable area. With proper diagnosis and treatment of any cancer complications, xerostomia ultimately will resolve on its own without further complications of bad breath.
 
During the 88th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research, in Barcelona, Spain, presenting author S. Pradhani, University of Delaware, Newark, USA, presented an abstract titled "Salivary Acinar Cells Regenerate Functional Glandular Structures in Modified Hydrogels." 
 
The goal of this research was to create an ECM modified hyaluronic acid (HA) based hydrogel culture system that allows for the growth and differentiation of salivary acinar cells into functional acini-like structures capable of secreting large amounts of protein and fluid unidirectionally. Xerostomia, a condition resulting from irradiation of the head and neck, affects more than 40,000 cancer patients each year in the United States. According to this research, these patients will greatly benefit from the development of a functional implantable artificial salivary gland. 
 
In this study, an IRB approved protocol was established and salivary gland tissue was obtained from patients undergoing head and neck surgery. Tissue specimen was dissociated to obtain acinar enriched cultures. Biomarker studies with the salivary enzyme, α-amylase and tight junction proteins such as zonula occludens-1 and E-cadherin, confirmed the phenotype of these cells. Acinar cells were seeded on HA-based hydrogels to obtain lobular structures with central apoptosing cells and lumen. 
 
An HA-based hydrogel system was developed to aid the differentiation of acinar cells into lobular acini-like structures. Functionality of these structures was demonstrated by the use of neurotransmitters that enhance their fluid and protein secretion pathways. Future experiments will involve implantation of these hydrogels in animal models to test their functionality in vivo. 
 
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