Pathobiology of Periodontal Disease
While oral bacteria are the primary drivers of periodontal inflammation and tissue destruction, many individuals with poor oral hygiene are resistant to disease while those with relatively good oral hygiene can suffer from severe periodontitis. Using high-throughput gene expression technology, we are developing an understanding of which genes are “turned on” in states of health and disease.
We are now investigating whether gene expression signatures in the gingival tissues can form the basis of a novel classification of periodontitis based on elements of pathobiology, rather than on clinical presentation. Our studies have provided the first ever comprehensive description of the transcriptome of gingival tissues in periodontal health and disease, and the role of epigenetic regulation including microRNAs and DNA methylation in periodontitis susceptibility.