Gum disease treatment fuses old with new

Dentists could soon be using a ready-to-use formulation containing an antibiotic and natural healing oils to treat periodontitis patients. The treatment, called PeriodoxTM, was developed by researchers who are members of IIUM Biofilm Interest Research Group (BIG) at International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).

Figure 1. Product mock-up of PeriodoxTM designed by IKOP Sdn Bhd, a shariah-compliant subsidiary of IIUM Holdings Sdn Bhd, which acts as the industrial partner for the research. The product is currently licensed to La dent Pharma PLT.

Periodontitis is a serious infection affecting soft gum tissue, periodontal ligament, teeth and sometimes can also affect the jaw bones if not properly treated. Although common, it is largely preventable.

Figure 2. Scanning electron microscopy images showing tooth microstructure after being soaked in high sugary and carbonated liquid (left) and after treatment with PeriodoxTM (right). PeriodoxTM-treated teeth show dentin remineralisation.

Researchers at IIUM-BIG developed, as a collaborative effort between IIUM faculties of Pharmacy, Allied Health & Sciences, and Dentistry, a pre-filled syringe nanoemulsion for treating periodontitis that consists of the antibiotic doxycycline emulsified in the natural ancient therapeutic oils of Nigella sativa and clove. The emulsion fuses contemporary, natural and Prophetic medicines.

Figure 3. Ready-to-use PeriodoxTM is supplied in a pre-filled syringe with a blunt needle device to deliver the medicine into the tiny periodontal pocket.

Nigella sativa and clove oils are mentioned as treatments for oral and tooth diseases in Malay medical manuscripts dated as early as 1800. Research has shown that both oils have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties against various types of microflora in the surrounding gum area. The team found that fusing these oils with a contemporary antibiotic, such as doxycycline, can produce a synergistic antimicrobial and regeneration effect in ex-situ teeth.


Fusing Nigella sativa and clove oils with a contemporary antibiotic, such as doxycycline, can produce a synergistic antimicrobial and regeneration effect in ex-situ teeth.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Farahidah Mohamed

A pilot clinical trial, conducted by the team between 2018 and 2019, has shown promising results. The formulation, fundamental studies and clinical trials are supported by La Dent Pharma PLT, PlaTCOM Ventures Sdn Bhd and the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education. The researchers are now looking for funds to support large-scale clinical trials to be conducted at IIUM Dental Hospital and other centres of dental care in Malaysia and neighbouring countries.


Figure 4: PeriodoxTM exhibited at Malaysia Technology Expo 2020.

The treatment has won several awards, such as the Halal Innovation Award at Malaysia Halal Expo 2019 and Silver Award at Malaysia Technology Expo 2020.

For more information about the product, please contact:

  1. Associate Professor Dr. Mohd Affendi, the Leader of IIUM Biofilm Interest Research Group, for the relevant fundamental studies: [email protected]
  2. Associate Professor Dr. Farahidah Mohamed for commercialisation and pharmaceutical perspectives: [email protected]
  3. Assistant Professor Dr. Yunita Dewi, for clinical trial data: dr[email protected].


Please visit for more updates about PeriodoxTM.




Published: 03 Feb 2021

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International Islamic University Malaysia
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