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Israeli foam to reverse receding gums soon set for human use, after success on dogs

Peer-reviewed study shows biological foam made of proteins helped reverse condition in 9 dogs; innovators say human version may be approved within two years

Nathan Jeffay is The Times of Israel's health and science correspondent

Illustrative image: gum recession in a human mouth. (alex-mit via iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative image: gum recession in a human mouth. (alex-mit via iStock by Getty Images)

Israeli inventors are working on a foam to reverse gum recession in humans, after running a successful test on dogs and starting to market the product for canine use.

ReGum, made by the Yokne’am-based company BioChange, is a protein-based foam designed to prompt gums to repair themselves. It is administered as a dental implant.

A peer-reviewed study, conducted by Slovenia-based veterinary dental specialist Dr. Ana Nemec, found that it was effective and had no side effects on a sample of nine dogs.

Forty percent of adult humans are believed to experience moderate to severe gum recession. Ishay Attar, BioChange’s founder and CEO, told The Times of Israel that the product is currently only available for canines, but he expects a version for humans to receive regulatory approval within two years.

“In our study we succeeded in regenerating the complex periodontal tissue, which is composed of four different tissue types, supporting the tooth,” he said. “No other product has been able to achieve such results of safety and efficacy so far.”

Gum recession in humans is currently either ignored or treated using grafting procedures, debridement surgery which involves removing lots of dead tissue, or antibiotic-releasing implants. Dentists have long hoped for an easier and less cumbersome solution.

A magnified image showing. the structure of the ReGum dental implant foam. (Courtesy of BioChange)

Periodontal diseases are normally caused by chronic infections and inflammation of the gums that surround and support the teeth. In the early stage, called gingivitis, the gums can become swollen and red, and they may bleed.

As inflammation progresses it becomes known as periodontitis. The gum can then pull away from the tooth, the bone can be lost, and the teeth may loosen and fall out.

Ishay Attar, BioChange’s founder and CEO. (Courtesy of BioChange)

Attar said the foam was the result of long-running research that the company is using to develop a range of products to prompt tissue to repair itself.

“It took us several years to figure out how to stimulate damaged tissues to repair themselves,” he said. “We developed a biological foam made of proteins, cross-linked to form a unique 3D structure.”

Attar stated that the foam is expected to help with gum recession resulting from periodontal diseases, as well as that arising from hard brushing.

“Studies demonstrate contradictory findings regarding the correlation between hard brushing and gingival recession,” he said. “Our product is designed to treat receding gums, regardless of the cause of the disease.”

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