Human periodontal diseases are ubiquitous infectious-inflammatory diseases which cause tooth loss and associated complications, including compromised speech, hydration, nutrition, self-confidence and overall quality of life.
Importantly, the unique nature of the periodontal environment results in frequent daily bacteraemia and activation of systemic inflammation via the acute-phase response and intravascular activation of inflammatory cells to release reactive oxygen species and pro-inflammatory mediators that are significantly associated with systemic co-morbidity and also mortality.
The Periodontal Research Group is active in identifying the underpinning mechanisms of periodontal disease at the cellular and molecular levels, by focusing upon novel pathways in the regulation of innate immune responses and how they become perturbed in response to infection.
They say: ‘Translation of our basic research into clinical care to improve patient outcomes is core to our philosophy.’
Diagnosis: The development of novel diagnostic technologies for periodontal diseases (including omics, saliva analysis and near-patient diagnostic technologies)
Pathogenesis: Innate immune responses in the pathobiology of periodontitis (epithelial and neutrophil (PMNL) responses to periodontal bacteria, including neutrophil extracellular traps, directional chemotaxis, oxidative stress).
Therapeutics: The role of oxidative stress in periodontal and systemic (e.g. Diabetes, Arthritis, Chronic Kidney Disease) inflammation and the development of micro-nutritional approaches to host-modulation.
Co-morbidity: The group has a strong interest in unravelling mechanisms through which periodontal inflammation may contribute to the systemic inflammatory burden of co-morbid chronic non-communicable diseases through large cohort and periodontal intervention studies.