Melatonin: Potential functions in the oral cavity

Antonio Cutando, Gerardo Gómez-Moreno, Carlos Arana, Darío Acuña-Castroviejo, Russel J. Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Background: Melatonin is synthesized and secreted by the pineal gland and other organs. The pattern of melatonin secretion is controlled by an endogenous circadian timing system and conveys information about the light-dark cycle to the organism, thereby organizing its seasonal and circadian rhythms. Melatonin has powerful antioxidant effects, functions in an immunomodulatory role, may protect against certain cancers, delays some age-related processes, stimulates the synthesis of type I collagen fibers, and promotes bone formation. Methods: An extensive review was made (e.g., using PubMed, Science Direct, and Web of Knowledge) of the literature. Results: Melatonin, which is released into the saliva, may have important implications for dental disorders, especially in periodontal disease. Diseases of the periodontium are known to be aggravated by free radicals and by alterations in the immune response to microorganisms that are present in plaque. In response to periodontal inflammation, the blood and salivary levels of melatonin may increase. Conclusion: Melatonin may play a role in protecting the oral cavity from tissue damage that is due to oxidative stress, and it may contribute to the regeneration of alveolar bone through the stimulation of type I collagen fiber production and the modulation of osteoblastic and osteoclastic activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1094-1102
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Antioxidant
  • Bone formation
  • Melatonin
  • Periodontal disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


Dive into the research topics of 'Melatonin: Potential functions in the oral cavity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this