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Osteoporosis drug builds bone in patients with gum disease
Date:10/19/2010

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---A drug marketed to grow bone in osteoporosis patients also works to heal bone wounds in gum disease patients, a University of Michigan study suggests.

"This new approach for the treatment of periodontal disease could allow us to rebuild some of the bone that is lost due to periodontal disease, which until this point has been very difficult to achieve," said Jill Bashutski, clinical assistant professor at the U-M School of Dentistry and first author on the study. "Current treatments to re-grow bone around teeth affected with gum disease have limited success rates."

The findings are significant because gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and is associated with a host of other health problems. Periodontal disease results in loss of teeth and can be devastating because it compromises speaking as well as eating, which can in turn contribute to poor nutrition.

The generic name of the drug is teriparatide and it is marketed by Eli Lilly and Co. under the trade name Forteo. It's a type of parathyroid hormone and the only anabolic (meaning it grows bone) osteoporosis drug approved on the market in the United States. Typically, osteoporosis drugs work by preventing bone loss.

The study, "Teriparatide and Osseous Regeneration in the Oral Cavity" appears online in the New England Journal of Medicine Oct. 16 and in the print edition Oct. 28. The study was presented Oct. 16 in Toronto at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

The study took place at the School of Dentistry's Michigan Center for Oral Health Research, where patients with severe chronic gum disease received the traditional treatment for gum disease, which is periodontal surgery on one-quarter of the mouth. Half of the patients took a six-week course of teriparatide by injection into the skin over the abdomen or stomach, plus calcium and vitamin D supplements, while the other half re
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Contact: Laura Bailey
baileylm@umich.edu
734-647-1848
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

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