The Role of Microbial Endocrinology in Periodontal Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease is a major cause of tooth loss in the developed world and represents a diverse group of infections that are essentially inflammatory lesions mediated by host-parasite interactions. A vast array of both gram-positive and gram-negative organisms are responsible for the initiation and progression of periodontal diseases in susceptible individuals. Psychological stress is a risk factor that has been implicated in periodontal diseases and the understanding of a stress-hormone related mechanism of periodontal pathogen growth, proliferation and virulence expression could provide potential therapeutic strategies for the management of periodontal diseases, or more importantly, provide potential preventive measures. There has been limited research to date concerning the periodontal diseases in relation to local or systemic changes of stress-related hormones. Catacholamines, and in particular, norepinephrine-associated autoinducers, may be important in tipping the balance between acute and chronic infections or in the progression from periodontal health to disease. Taken as a whole, the data presented within this thesis suggest a role for stress hormones influencing bacteria involved in the pathogenesis of periodontal diseases.
KeywordsPeriodontal Disease Dental Plaque Gingival Tissue Periodontal Pathogen Periodontal Bacterium
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