General and Oral Health Center
Investigation of Host DNA Methylation Patterns in Association with Periodontal Disease:
Data from animal models indicate that gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) occurs before periodontitis (gum disease) begins; however, human studies clearly demonstrate that not all people who have gingivitis will develop periodontitis. Also, data from other studies indicate that some individuals exhibit more inflammation in reaction to the plaque in their mouths as compared to others who do not seem to react at all.
These differences in how a person responds may be due to environmental factors or due to an inherited (genetic) risk factor. Studies show that risk for developing advanced periodontal disease may be higher among people with certain genetic biomarkers (fingerprints), but we do not yet know how to identify who may be at risk. If we can identify such individuals by these “fingerprints,” we can then help them with early preventive measures.
The overall purpose of this research is to identify new “genetic fingerprints” or markers of inflammation that can be used to identify individuals who are at the greatest risk for developing periodontal (gum) inflammation.
If you are interested in more information about possibly participating in this study, please contact us at (919) 537-3424.