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Periodontal Disease

Periodontitis: Balancing Nature's Immune Response
(Steven R. Little, Ph.D.December 2013)
November brought a number of exciting research findings in oral health. One of the most interesting is an article in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences titled “Prevention of inflammation-mediated bone loss in murine and canine periodontal disease via recruitment of regulatory lymphocytes.” The paper presents a fascinating first step in treating periodontal disease by inducing a more-balanced immune response. The Science Spotlight recently spoke in depth about the paper with Steven R. Little, Ph.D., senior author on the paper and an NIDCR grantee.  Read more.... 



New Target for Periodontal Disease
(April 2012)
George Hajishengallis, D.D.S., Ph.D.In a paper published on March 25 in Nature Immunology, a team of researchers reports on a potentially high-value new target in the fight against periodontal disease. The new lead is a glycoprotein called Del-1.  NIDCR grantees and colleagues show for the first time in the gingiva that a breakdown in Del-1’s normal regulatory control of the immune-signaling protein IL-17 can drive the onset of periodontitis, particularly in aging. Based on this finding, the authors propose that periodontitis may be best characterized as a disruption of homeostasis, which then allows infectious and inflammatory conditions to proceed on their destructive paths.  more......



Localized Aggressive Periodontitis: Pinning Down the Long Suspected Role of Aa
(February 2008)
Daniel Fine, DMDFor dentists who treat an occasional child with localized aggressive periodontitis, or LAP, the research points to the likely culprit as a bacterium with a long name, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa).  But the case remains far from air tight.  Absent from the scientific literature are clinical studies that track the natural history of the disease in children and whether Aa indeed plays a role in its onset and progression.  In the December 2007 issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a team of NIDCR supported scientists offer the first results from a natural history study.  While a final verdict remains to be rendered, this study and a similar one in Morocco offer stronger evidence that Aa might just be a cause.  To learn more about this study, the Inside Scoop spoke with Dr. Daniel Fine, a scientist at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark and the lead author on the JCM  paper. more...


Periodontal Disease: Engineering the Future of Care
(October 2008)
Pam Robey, Ph.D.William Giannobile, DDS, DMSc In the 1950s, soon after NIDCR’s founding, millions of Americans often flipped on their black-and-white tube televisions and watched commercials that warned of a tongue-twisting condition called gingivitis. As the ads warned, gingivitis was step one on the road to chronic gum, or periodontal, disease and tooth loss. more...



Periodontal Research: Pathways to Progress
(July 2007)
Salomon Amar, DDS, MS, PhDIn the June issue of the Journal of Proteome Research, a team of NIDCR supported scientists and colleagues take a closer look at how a monocyte senses live bacteria, LPS, or FimA.  The Inside Scoop spoke to the paper’s senior author, Dr. Salomon Amar, a scientist in the Department of Periodontology and Oral Biology at the Boston University School of Dental Medicine.  As Amar noted, his data mark a starting point in using comprehensive protein-profiling, or proteomic, approaches to map out signaling pathways in the monocyte and, hopefully, to identify new ways to control the destructive inflammation of chronic periodontitis.  more...



Looking at the Periodontal-Systemic Connection
(July 2005)
Smiling womanStudies within the past ten years have suggested an association between periodontal disease and the likelihood of delivering preterm, low-birthweight babies, developing cardiovascular disease, and having difficulty controlling blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.  Some studies have also linked periodontal disease to respiratory infection in people with pulmonary problems.  The Inside Scoop recently spoke with Bruce Pihlstrom, D.D.S., M.S., acting director of NIDCR's Division of Clinical Research and Health Promotion, about the Institute's clinical research on periodontal disease and its relationship to systemic disease.  more...



Chronic Periodontitis: Geographic Differences in the Oral Biofilm
(January 2005)
Sigmund Socransky, D.D.S.Anne Haffajee, B.D.S.It has long been assumed that all chronic periodontitis is the same no matter where one lives in the world.  But some scientists have wondered whether the bacterial composition of the oral biofilm - the sticky, mat-like microbial communities that form on our teeth and cause chronic periodontitis - might vary geographically.  In the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, NIDCR grantees and their colleagues report for the first time that this is indeed the case.  more...  



Scientists Report New Leads in the Surprising Evolutionary Biology of a Common Oral Pathogen
(June 2003)
Daniel Fine, DMDDental researchers often say studies of the mouth may have important implications in other parts of the body. If ever there was a case in point, it’s research on a common oral pathogen with the tongue-twisting name of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. more...




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This page last updated: January 30, 2014