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National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

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Newswise: Sentinels in the Mouth: Special Sensory Cells in the Gums Protect Against Periodontitis
  • Embargo expired:
    3-Oct-2019 5:00 AM EDT

Article ID: 719989

Sentinels in the Mouth: Special Sensory Cells in the Gums Protect Against Periodontitis

Monell Chemical Senses Center

Newly discovered chemical-sensing cells in the gums protect the mouth by standing guard against infections that damage soft tissue and destroy the bone that supports the teeth. With the help of bitter taste receptors that also detect byproducts from harmful bacteria, these special gum cells trigger the immune system to control the amount and type of bacteria in the mouth and could one day lead to personalized dental treatments against gum disease.

Released:
2-Oct-2019 10:05 AM EDT

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