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Smoking and virulence of periodontal pathogens

Institution: Loma Linda University
Investigator(s): Hansel Fletcher, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2001 (Cycle 10) Grant #: 10RT-0122 Award: $289,574
Subject Area: General Biomedical Science
Award Type: Research Project Awards

Initial Award Abstract
Periodontitis, also referred to as gum disease or pyorrhea, is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the hard (bone) and soft (gingiva) tissues supporting the teeth. Periodontitis, which affects tens of millions of people in the United States, is caused by certain pathogenic bacteria that grow in the dental microbial plaque. Of the bacteria considered to be most important for periodontitis, one is called Porphyromonas gingivalis (P.g.)

Cigarette smoking has been found to significantly worsen the condition of periodontitis patients, leading to the more rapid loss of greater number of teeth. The reasons why periodontitis progresses faster in smokers are not clear. It is thought that one of the reasons might be the fact that smokers commonly have higher chances for P.g. to be present in their mouth. In addition, smoking has been shown to change (in a possibly negative way) how the body responds to the bacteria causing periodontitis, including P.g.


Accelerated alveolar bone loss in HLA-B27 transgenic rats: an adult onset condition.
Periodical: The Journal of Rheumatology Index Medicus:
Authors: Tatakis DN, Guglielmoni P, Fletcher HM ART
Yr: 2002 Vol: 29 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 1244-1251

Gingipain RgpB is excreted as a proenzyme in the vimA-defective mutant Porphyromonas gingivalis FLL92.
Periodical: Infection and Immunity Index Medicus:
Authors: Olango GJ, Roy F, Sheets SM, Young MK, Fletcher HM ART
Yr: 2003 Vol: 71 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 3740-3747

Accelerated alveolar bone loss and altered humoral immune response in interleukin-10 knockout mice.
Periodical: Journal of Dental Research Index Medicus:
Authors: Al-Rasheed A, Scheerns H, Rennick DM, Fletcher HM, Tatakis DN ART
Yr: 2003 Vol: 82 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 632-635