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Aspirations for aspirin

Aspirin can help you get rid of a headache, relieve other common pain and reduce inflammation. Someday it also may help you to regrow bone and other tissue.

Aspirin applied directly to the site of an experimental skull wound in mice aided bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells to form new bone, researchers reported in the journal Nature Medicine.

Scientists have discovered that aspirin reduces the concentration of protein molecules called cytokines that keep the implanted stem cells from forming new bone.

“If you block cytokines, bone regeneration will be favored,” said Dr. Songtao Shi, a professor at the University of Southern California Ostrow School of Dentistry’s Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology.

Dr. Shi indicated that the goal is to determine therapeutic uses for aspirin, such as improving bone fracture healing and treating conditions such as osteonecrosis of the jaw, through future clinical trials.

The American Dental Association has resources on diseases affecting bones of the oral cavity, including periodontal disease, which can lead to alveolar bone loss. For information on periodontal disease, visit www.ada.org/3063.aspx?currentTab=1#faq.

For information on how drugs for osteoporosis, which is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time, may damage jaw bone, possibly leading to osteonecrosis, visit www.ada.org/3045.aspx?currentTab=1.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

6/20/2012

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