Author Interviews, Dental Research / 01.07.2021 Interview with: Dane Kim, Dental Student University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine What is the background for this study? Response: This large study was inspired, in part, by a previous publication, Gustatory Function After Third Molar Extraction (Shafer et al. 1999), which examined the effect of third molar extractions on human taste function. Their work was based upon more severe extractions and followed patients only up to six months after their surgery. Studies examining taste function over a longer period, i.e., beyond six months from the surgery, were non-existent. The Smell and Taste Center of Penn Medicine, which is the only center of its type in the United States, has a large unique database of patients who have been thoroughly tested for both smell and taste function. This provided us with the opportunity to compare data from hundreds of persons who had previously received third-molar extractions to those who had not received such extractions. Importantly, the extracts had occurred years before thee taste testing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, Microbiome, University of Pennsylvania / 19.05.2021 Interview with: Geelsu Hwang, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences Center for Innovation and Precision Dentistry (CiPD) School of Dental Medicine University of Pennsylvania What is the background for this study? What is the significance of this oral biofilm? Response: Dental caries is one of the most common and costly biofilm-dependent diseases that afflict children and adults worldwide. Particularly, Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is a hyper-virulent type of chronic tooth decay that most frequently afflicts underprivileged preschool children. The onset and progression of carious lesions in ECC are rapid and aggressive, causing rampant destruction of the smooth surfaces of teeth. ECC is painful and often requires surgical procedure under general anesthesia, while current treatment modalities are inefficient and recurrence of ECC is common. Notably, interactions between a fungus, Candida albicans, and a bacterium, Streptococcus mutans, have been known to play important roles in the pathogenesis of dental caries. Thus, we attempted to strategically develop a targeted measure to effectively prevent cross-kingdom interactions and subsequent biofilm development. (more…)