Periodontitis sensor differentiates dental disease:
This article was originally published in Clinica
A new biosensor able to distinguish between minor gum problems, such as gingivitis, and serious gum disease, including periodontitis (which causes bone loss around the teeth), is being developed in the UK. This would enable dentists to screen out patients who do not need extensive treatment, and also to identify, in serious cases, where in the mouth the worst of the disease is sited, New Scientist reports (September 23rd). The sensor is being developed by researchers at Cardiff Dental Hospital and the University of Glasgow, after the discovery at Cardiff of a sugary protein, chondroitin-4-sulphate, found in the fluid released by gums in areas threatened with periodontitis, but not in sites of gingivitis. Whether chondroitin-4-sulphate is produced as the bone is destroyed or during bone restoration is not clear, but Drs Graham Embery and Andrew Smith are currently looking for antibodies that bind exclusively to the protein in the development of their biosensor.