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        Heartburn                                                                Additional investigators include
                                                                                 first author and UB alumnus
                                                                                 Bhavneet Chawla, and Robert E.
        drugs may have                                                           Cohen, DDS, PhD, professor of
                                                                                 periodontics and endodontics in
                                                                                 the UB School of Dental Medicine.
        unexpected                                                               The study sought to determine

                                                                                 whether a relationship exists
                                                                                 between PPI use and gum
        benefits on gum                                                          disease. The researchers
                                                                                 analyzed clinical data from more
                                                                                 than 1,000 periodontitis patients
        disease                                                                  either using or not using PPIs.
                                                                                 Probing depths were used as an
                                                                                 indicator of periodontitis severity.

                                                                                 Only 14% of teeth from patients
        The use of heartburn medication is associated                            who used PPIs had probing
        with decreased severity of gum disease,                                  depths of 6 millimeters or more,
                                                                                 compared to 24% of teeth from
        according to a recent University at Buffalo study.                       patients who did not use the
                                                                                 medication. And 27% of teeth
                                                                                 from patients using PPIs had
                                                                                 probing depths of 5 millimeters
                                                                                 or more, compared to 40%
                                                                                 of teeth from non-PPI users,
                                                                                 according to the study.

                                                                                 The researchers theorized
                                                                                 that PPIs’ ability to alter
                                                                                 bone metabolism or the
                                                                                 gut microbiome, as well as
                                                                                 potentially impact periodontal
                                                                                 microorganisms, may help lessen
                                                                                 the severity of gum disease.

                                                                                 Additional studies are under
                                                                                 development to determine if
                                                                                 this relationship can be found
                                                                                 in other populations of patients
                                                                                 with gum disease, and to learn
             he research found that          Research, may be linked to the      to what extent the relationship
             patients who used proton        side effects of PPIs, which include   can be directly attributed to
        Tpump inhibitors (PPIs)              changes in bone metabolism and      PPIs, says Yerke.
        -- a class of drugs commonly         in the gut microbiome, says lead
        prescribed to treat heartburn, acid   investigator Lisa M. Yerke, DDS,   Story Source:
        reflux and ulcers -- were more likely   clinical assistant professor in the   Materials provided by University
        to have smaller probing depths       Department of Periodontics and      at Buffalo. Original written by
        in the gums (the gap between         Endodontics at the UB School of     Marcene Robinson. Note: Content
        teeth and gums). When gums are       Dental Medicine.                    may be edited for style and length.
        healthy, they fit snuggly against the
        teeth. However, in the presence of   “PPIs could potentially be          Journal Reference:
        harmful bacteria, the gap deepens,   used in combination with other      1. Bhavneet K. Chawla, Robert E.
        leading to inflammation, bone loss   periodontal treatments; however,    Cohen, Lisa M. Yerke. Association
        and periodontitis, also known as     additional studies are first needed   between proton pump inhibitors
        gum disease.                         to understand the underlying        and periodontal disease severity.
                                             mechanisms behind the role PPIs     Clinical and Experimental Dental
        The findings, published last month   play in reducing the severity of    Research, 2021; DOI: 10.1002/
        in Clinical and Experimental Dental   periodontitis,” says Yerke.        cre2.495

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