Method of Treating Periodontitis and Obesity-Associated Inflammation

  • Application of metabolite downregulates disease promoting bacteria.
  • Novel tool to treat periodontitis and obesity-associated metabolic dysregulation.

Technology Background

Nearly 50% of American adults have periodontitis, a set of inflammatory diseases that cause tooth loss and affect systemic health. The sustained chronic inflammatory state of obesity strongly intersects with periodontitis in the context of both pathogenesis and prognosis. Adults with obesity nearly double the prevalence rate of periodontitis compared to non-obese subjects, and obese subjects with periodontitis result in more severe alveolar bone loss. Current outcomes of periodontitis treatment for moderate to advanced disease and the periodontitis associated with obesity are far from satisfactory. Streptococcus gordonii (Sg) is a commensal species that is commonly found in the oral cavity. Growing evidence suggests that Sg may modulate interactions between the bacterial community and the host by regulating signaling pathways in host epithelial cells. Therapeutics that harness the ability of Sg to regulate oral inflammation are promising for the treatment of periodontitis and obesity-associated inflammatory diseases.

Technology Description

Inventors at the University of Iowa have developed a novel method of preventing and treating periodontitis using therapeutic compositions of Streptococcus gordonii (Sg) metabolites. The inventors have demonstrated that application of a specific metabolite of Sg down regulates disease promoting bacteria while promoting the growth of health-related bacteria. The novel formulation contains key components of Sg products that the inventors have shown suppress inflammatory cytokines and upregulate anti-inflammatory periodontitis-associated microRNAs (miRs). It also effectively improves the glucose metabolism in obese mice. These outcomes demonstrate that Sg metabolites may represent a new tool and can be used to treat and prevent periodontitis and improve obesity-associated inflammation and metabolism dysregulations.

UIRF Case No. 2022-032

Stage of Development

Sg metabolites have been isolated and tested in vitro using human gingival cells and white adipose tissue (WAT) of obese mice. In vivo studies are on-going.


  • Targets underlying disease causing-mechanisms of periodontitis
  • No similar therapeutic available
  • May be used to target other inflammatory associated diseases

Contact Information

Name: Kellen Sensor


Phone: 319.335.4546