Snake Venom May Speed Healing Time After Oral Surgery

By: American Academy of Periodontology  |  News
Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Study found new adhesive derived from snake venom effective for closing surgical incisions

Snake Venom Speeds Healing After Oral Surgery

Courtesy of Mr David Fletcher

CHICAGO "October 9, 2007" Patients worried about their postoperative healing times for oral surgery procedures may now find a unique form of relief. A new study in the October issue of the Journal of Periodontology (JOP) found that an adhesive made from an enzyme found in snake venom was a more effective and beneficial adhesive when used to close surgical incisions than traditional sutures.

The study followed 15 patients during the healing process after a gingival (gum) graft. When the adhesive derived from snake venom was used, those patients had faster recovery and better results than those treated with traditional sutures. "This unique type of adhesive may stimulate faster tissue repair. It is a more natural form of adhesive in comparison to traditional sutures used after surgery,” explained study author Monica Barbosa, Phd, Bauru Dental School at the University of Sao Paulo, “More studies are needed to fully evaluate the effectiveness of this alternative."

"This adhesive may be a less infectious alternative to traditional sutures," said Preston D. Miller, DDS, and AAP president. "This research highlights the array of therapies available for patients; both traditional and natural alternatives. There continues to be a lot of exciting and innovative research in the field of periodontics."