22 Oct Periodontal Disease Has Systemic Effects Beyond Oral Disease
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof. Michael Glogauer, D.D.S., Ph.D
Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto
Toronto, ON Canada
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Periodontal disease (PD) affects between 20% and 50% of the global population, with growing evidence supporting its association with other inflammatory diseases, including heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
Several studies have shown how untreated periodontal disease leads to increased medical care costs for nonoral conditions, including patient hospitalization rates. The interaction of inflammatory diseases with PD suggests a shared, underlying pathology that may be exploited to better manage patients and reduce the economic burden. However, the mechanisms through which these diseases interact are unclear.
In periodontal disease, tissue and bone destruction in the mouth is driven by elevated recruitment of white blood cells called polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs), which are activated by the oral disease and recruited from the circulation to sites of inflammation.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: In this study, we demonstrate that periodontal tissue inflammation has systemic effects that predispose toward an exacerbated innate immune response. This indicates that blood PMNs can respond synergistically to simultaneous and remote inflammatory triggers and therefore contribute to the interaction between periodontal disease and other inflammatory conditions.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The study gives first evidence of the mechanism that links periodontal disease with other inflammatory conditions. Additionally, it supports the view that periodontal disease has a significant impact on overall health beyond oral health and reveals potential new approaches for treating inflammatory diseases that may interact with each other.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: More work needs to be done to better understand the role of PMNs in disease states and in healthy states. If we can better understand the synergistic connections between these inflammatory states, we can develop novel new therapeutic targets that could help tackle a range of chronic, and acute, inflammatory states that affect health and place a huge burden on the health care system.
Further research may also shed important light on the potential role PD plays in COVID-19 outcomes.
Citation:Fine N, Chadwick JW, Sun C, et al. Periodontal Inflammation Primes the Systemic Innate Immune Response. Journal of Dental Research. October 2020. doi:10.1177/0022034520963710
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