Metformin could help prevent oral and systemic disease


London, UK: Factors such as glucose metabolism, nutrition, oxidative stress and aging drive periodontal progression. However, current periodontal treatments do not directly address the host's metabolic inflammatory response, which is crucial for the treatment of periodontal disease. Although systemic metformin is widely used in the treatment of diabetes, this drug has never been used in the treatment of periodontitis. Now, a new study reports that metformin helps control inflammation and blood sugar levels in the mouth and body and could be used as an intervention to help prevent oral and systemic disease.

Research shows that approximately half of the adult population over the age of 30 has some form of periodontal disease, while this number increases to 70% of adults over the age of 65. The disease is closely associated with systemic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, and some studies suggest that controlling glucose metabolism in patients may contribute to longevity and reduce the development of periodontal disease. Likewise, research has shown that patients who successfully treat periodontal disease improve their glucose metabolism and cardiovascular health.

In this study, researchers examined the role of metformin, currently used as a first-line drug for blood sugar control, as a pharmacological regulator of glucose metabolism. The drug was chosen for its cost-effectiveness, safety, and potential for repurposing and extending patients' lives.

Study finds metformin significantly prevents bone loss during periodontal disease and age-related bone loss live in live mice. The researchers then tested metformin in patients with periodontal disease who did not have diabetes, in the first clinical trial of its kind. To test the drug's effectiveness, half of the participants received 850 mg of a placebo and the other half received 850 mg of metformin. All participants received full-mouth nonsurgical treatment. Researchers examined patients at baseline, three days later, and one week later. Periodontal reassessment was performed at 6 and 12 weeks after full-mouth nonsurgical treatment.

The trial showed improved clinical outcomes from periodontal disease treatment and control of blood sugar levels and inflammation in the mouth and body, even in the presence of high levels of bacteria. Based on these data, the researchers believe that using metformin to prevent periodontal disease may also help control weight gain and blood sugar levels.

“Our patients often don't have any tools to fight gum disease other than brushing their teeth, but for the first time we have the potential to help not only treat gum disease, but also overall health,” said lead author Dr. Vitor Neves. said in a press release an academic clinical lecturer and periodontal registrar at King's College London. “Metformin is readily available and cheap around the world, so the drug can be used as a preventive drug for oral and systemic diseases and can be adopted globally,” he added. He explained that this would help many people Aging Healthier.

The study, titled “Repurposing metformin for periodontal disease management as a form of oral systemic preventive medicine,” was published online on October 10, 2023 in Journal of Translational Medicine.

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