Host modulation therapy with anti-inflammatory agents

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106 Citations (Scopus)


Host modulation therapy refers to a treatment concept in which drug therapies are used as an adjunct to conventional periodontal treatment to ameliorate destructive aspects of the host inflammatory response. This strategy is not new in the treatment of periodontitis. Previously, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been investigated in this regard, with evidence of reductions in alveolar bone resorption when these drugs are used for prolonged periods of time. However, the risk of significant unwanted effects precludes the use of both nonselective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors as adjunctive treatments for periodontitis. Currently, the only available adjunctive host response modulator that is licensed for the treatment of periodontitis is subantimicrobial dose doxycycline, which functions as an inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases. Although clinical benefits have been shown in carefully conducted randomized controlled trials, the efficacy of subantimicrobial dose doxycycline in routine clinical practice has yet to be determined. Anti-cytokine therapies have been developed for use in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, the pathogenesis of which bears many similarities to that of periodontitis; however, the significant risk of unwanted effects (as well as cost and lack of human trials in the treatment of periodontal diseases) precludes the use of any of the currently available anti-cytokine therapies in the treatment of periodontitis. The identification of pro-resolving lipid mediators as well as small molecule biologicals that influence inflammatory responses offers the best potential, at the present time, for the development of novel host response modulators in periodontal therapy, but much research remains to be done to confirm safety and efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-149
Number of pages19
JournalPeriodontology 2000
Issue number1
Early online date29 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Host modulation therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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