Clinical Trial: Complementary Naturopathic Medicine for Periodontitis

This study has been completed.

Sponsored by: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Information provided by: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)


This study aims to assess selected naturopathic medicines for adult periodontitis and to identify variables that influence successful outcomes when traditional and alternative approaches to preventing and treating periodontal diseases are combined. Collaboration between Kaiser Permanente, Oregon Health Science University and the National College of Naturopathic Medicine provides an unsurpassed environment for such investigations. Periodontitis is a major cause of tooth loss and negatively impacts systemic health. The limitations of traditional periodontal treatment have compelled scientists and clinicians to investigate new remedies, and naturopathic medicine holds several promising interventions.

Because they are used to improve elements of host resistance that are known to be important in periodontal health and disease, three naturopathic medicines are potential adjuncts in preventing and treating periodontitis. Connective tissue components are enzymatically degraded in periodontitis. In naturopathy, Connective Tissue Nutrient Formula (CTNF) (vitamins A, C and D, glucosamine sulfate, oligoproanthocyanindins, copper, zinc, manganese, boron, silicon, magnesium, and calcium) is prescribed specifically to enhance the integrity of key connective tissue elements and improve their resistance to degradation. Periodontitis begins when permeability of the oral sulcular epithelium permits pathogenic bacterial components to invade deeper periodontal connective tissues. In naturopathy, glutamine is prescribed to reduce oral-intestinal epithelial membrane permeability. Chronic activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis during the stress response, is a risk factor for periodontitis. Adaptogenic herbs (AH) (Panax ginseng, Withania somnifera and Eleutherococcus senticosus) are prescribed by naturopathic physicians to reverse the impact of bacterial and psychosocial stressors. Because glutamine, CTNF and AH target pathophysiologic mechanisms known to underline periodontitis, they are compelling candidates in clinical and mechanistic investigations of complementary medicine approaches to the management of periodontitis.

Kaiser Permanente adult periodontitis patients will serve as subjects and receive standard periodontal treatment. Three of the four randomly assigned groups will also receive supplements of glutamine, CTNF, or AH. We will determine the effects of these supplements on clinical outcomes (attachment loss, pocket depths, indicators of inflammation, plaque composition, need for periodontal surgery, acute periodontal problems, tooth loss). In addition to completing the battery of self-report measures (stress, coping, quality of life), study subjects will provide samples of blood, saliva, gingival cervicular fluid and bacterial dental plaque. These samples will be examined as part of the Laboratory Core to identify biologic and genetic characteristics that correlate with successful outcomes. Storage of portions of the samples will allow future examination of additional variables as part of the Developmental Projects carried out as the Craniofacial Complementary & Alternative Center is established and Phase III trials are undertaken.

Condition Treatment or Intervention Phase
 Drug: Connective Tissue Nutrient Formula
 Drug: Adaptogenic herbs
 Drug: glutamine
Phase II

MedlinePlus related topics:  Gum Disease

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Treatment, Randomized


Ages Eligible for Study:  35 Years and above,  Genders Eligible for Study:  Both


Inclusion Criteria:

  • Adult periodontitis

Location Information

      The Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU), Portland,  Oregon,  United States

Study chairs or principal investigators

Theresa Madden,  Principal Investigator,  Center for Health Research, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals   

More Information

Study ID Numbers:  1 P50 AT00076-01P3; 1 P50 AT00076-01
Record last reviewed:  September 2004
Last Updated:  October 13, 2004
Record first received:  February 2, 2001 Identifier:  NCT00010634
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government processed this record on 2005-04-08

Cache Date: April 9, 2005