The section below provides you with a brief overview of the scientific communication from the German Society of Periodontology (DG PARO) and German Society of Dentistry and Oral Medicine (DGZMK) on “Diagnosing Periodontitis Using the Inflammation Marker MMP-8”:
DG PARO and DGZMK Evaluate the aMMP-8 Test for Diagnosing Periodontitis
In a joint scientific communication, the German Association of Periodontology (DG PARO) and German Society of Dentistry and Oral Medicine (DGZMK) evaluate the inflammation marker MMP-8 for the diagnosis of periodontitis. The 18-page opinion on the MMP-8-test procedure acts as the scientific basis for the use of the dentognostics PerioSafe®PRO oral health test in everyday practice.
aMMP-8—A Favorite in Periodontitis Diagnostics
The matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) is a natural enzyme in the body that is induced by periodontal inflammation in the gingival tissue. In its activated form (aMMP-8), it is responsible for the degradation of collagen fibers in the teeth’s supporting tissue in cases of periodontitis and peri-implantitis. DG PARO and DGZMK reported: “Of all the possible tests on the inflammation-induced expression of matrix metalloproteinases … the test involving MMP-8 proved to be a favorite for the diagnosis of periodontitis”. aMMP-8 can be detected in sulcular fluid, saliva, or even mouthwash solutions. The PerioSafe® PRO oral health test from dentognostics can detect heightened concentrations of aMMP-8 in a mouthwash solution. The benefit over other methods is that the qualitative chairside test provides information about the risk of a progressive destructive disease of the teeth’s supporting tissue, which may otherwise only be objectifiable using a probe or x-ray several weeks or months later. This means that PerioSafe® acts as an “early warning system”.
Periodontitis Screening and Progression Monitoring with the aMMP-8 Test
The authors indicate that progression monitoring is one possible use of the PerioSafe® test: “MMP-8 can be used to determine the success of treatment, e.g. scaling and root planing (SRP), in order to differentiate between responders and non-responders.” It therefore makes sense to use PerioSafe® PRO to screen for silent tissue degradation once or twice a year before professionally cleaning the teeth in order to diagnose the risk of periodontitis. Also, within the scope of supportive periodontitis treatment, its use is expedient at least once a year as part of the routine prophylaxis and recall. In their statements, DG PARO and DGZMK emphasize the incredible simplicity of performing this test. In fact, it only takes a medical specialist a few minutes to conduct the PerioSafe® PRO test. The pure “hands-on” time is about three minutes plus there is a wait of just over ten minutes before the test result can be read off. The test is therefore also delegable, e.g. to a dental hygienist or medical specialist.
aMMP-8 as a Link for Interdisciplinary Communication
A further suggestion of the authors Eickholz and Meisel with regards to a useful application is “… to introduce the test in places where no dentist is available. For example, in medical practices that specialize in systemic diseases clearly associated with periodontitis, e.g. diabetes or obesity.” Numerous studies have shown a link between periodontal and systemic disease. The early detection and treatment of silent oral inflammation is of particularly high importance in the case of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, COPD, or rheumatoid arthritis, as well as for women who are planning to become pregnant. In the event of a positive result, gynecologists and specialists in internal medicine who use PerioSafe® PRO to screen their patients will then refer them to a periodontist or dentist who specializes in periodontology. This makes the PerioSafe® PRO test an important link for interdisciplinary communication between doctors and dentists.
Authors of the Scientific Communication
The scientific opinion was published in November 2016 and authored by Prof. Dr. Peter Meisel from the Center for Dentistry and Oral Medicine at the University of Greifswald and Prof. Dr. Peter Eickholz, Director of the Outpatient Clinic for Periodontology at the Center for Dentistry and Oral Medicine at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt.