Tobacco and alcohol, poor oral hygiene, brushing too hard, diabetes… We know globally, from near or far, the external risk factors of gingivitis, this inflammation of the gums which causes pain, redness and bleeding.
It could be that there is also an “internal” risk factor, linked to the very nature of the gums. This is revealed by a new study, recently published in the journal Scientific Reports (Source 1), which indicates that the stiffness of the gums influences the risk of gingivitis.
The researchers thus explain that the gum contains fibroblasts, cells contributing to the formation of connective tissue, and that these fibroblasts have their properties affected by gingival rigidity. Thus, a low gingival rigidity, also called “ soft gum would increase the likelihood that the gums would be inflamed and would make it harder for gum fibers to form.
Rigidity that would play on anti-inflammatory phenomena
“ We discovered that soft gums lead to inflammation and hinder the development of gum fibers “Summarizes Professor Masahiro Yamada of the Graduate School of Dentistry at Tohoku University (Japan), in a press release (Source 2).
This study therefore confirms that people with thicker or “stiffer” gums are less at risk of gingivitis, but above all gives a biological explanation for this observation.
For this, scientists have created a kind of artificial gum by culturing gingival fibroblasts of human origin. They found that gingival stiffness activates an anti-inflammatory system in the fibroblasts, which ultimately reduced the risk of gingivitis. Conversely, soft gums do not activate this anti-inflammatory effectthus increasing the risk of gingivitis.
“Our research is the first to demonstrate the biological mechanisms at play when it comes to a patient’s gingival properties enthused Masahiro Yamada. The researcher believes that these results should accelerate the development of biomaterials advances to control local inflammation or microdevices that simulate the microenvironment [des gencives] in order to control these inflammatory or anti-inflammatory phenomena.
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