Faculty and Research

Risk Factors in Systemically Healthy and Diseased Individuals

Dr. Tamer Alpagot

It is well recognized that the development of periodontal disease depends on the interactions between the resident oral microbiota found in the dentogingival plaque and the host response. As a result of these interactions between the bacteria and the host, a sequence of host immune mechanisms may be activated, even at the expense of damaging periodontal tissues. It is likely that the compromised immune system contributes to the pathogenesis of the lesions.

The etiology of periodontal disease in patients who test positive for human immunodeficiency virus(HIV+) remains unclear. One of the objectives of our research is to identify risk factors for periodontal disease in such patients. We have previously shown the positive association between viral load and Fusobacterium nucleatum and Prevotella intermedium in HIV+ patients, indicating that the subtle changes in the immune system may allow proliferation of more virulent clones periodontal pathogens (Alpagot et al., 2004). We also want to identify the risk factors for periodontal disease in gingival crevicular fluid of HIV+ patients and develop risk assessment models of periodontitis in these and other immunocompromised patients.

Tamer Alpagot, talpagot@pacific.edu, 415.929.6546