Snake venom speeds healing

A new fibrin adhesive made from an enzyme found in snake venom is more effective at closing surgical incisions than traditional sutures, according to a new study in the October issue of the Journal of Periodontology.

"This unique adhesive may stimulate faster tissue repair...compared to traditional sutures used after surgery," notes study author Monica Barbosa, PhD, Bauru Dental School at the University of Sao Paulo in a press release.

The study looked at 15 patients who had undergone a gingival graft. After 90 days, the mean loss of vertical dimension was greater in the control group (22.33 percent) then the test group using the adhesive (15.66 percent). Also, the test group's grafts were closer to the normal shade of the gingiva in the photographic follow-up 14 days after the surgery.

"This adhesive may be a less infectious alternative to traditional sutures," says Preston D. Miller, Jr., DDS, President of the American Academy of Periodontology, in a press release. "This research highlights the array of therapies available for patients; both traditional and natural alternatives."

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