Metformin effective on smokers' chronic periodontitis

A study published earlier this year found that metformin -- one of the most commonly used antihyperglycemic agents for treating type 2 diabetes -- may also protect against oral cancer. Now a new study in the Journal of Periodontology (November 7, 2012) has shown that metformin is also effective in treating smokers with chronic periodontitis.

For the study, researchers from the Government Dental College & Research Institute in Bangalore, India, investigated the effectiveness of a 1% metformin gel (biodegradable, controlled release) as an adjunct to scaling and root planing (SRP) in the treatment of vertical defects in smokers with chronic periodontitis.

They split 50 patients into two treatment groups: SRP plus 1% metformin and SRP plus placebo. Clinical parameters -- which included plaque index, modified sulcus bleeding index, probing depth, and clinical attachment level -- were recorded at baseline, three months, and six months.

Mean probing depth reduction and mean clinical attachment level gain were greater in the metformin group than the placebo group at all visits, the researchers reported. In addition, they found significantly greater mean percentage of bone fill in the metformin group than the placebo sites (p < 0.001).

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