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Funded by NIH

The Periodontal Research Center at Buffalo is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as one of their specialized clinical research centers for the study of periodontal disease. The center has enjoyed continuous support since 1977, initially from the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), and more recently from a combination of NIH and industrial support.

Areas of Research

Past studies have focused on etiology and host response in periodontal disease and have led to the development of concepts and regimes for anti-infective therapy. Next, the UB researchers began epidemiological studies to identify risk factors for periodontal disease. To date, diabetes, smoking, the presence of periodontal pathogens, stress, distress, and coping measures have been identified as potential risk factors for periodontal disease. Future studies include a continuation of studies of putative risk factors, including longitudinal incidence studies to firmly establish risk factors. The center will also carry out intervention studies directed at modulating risk factors for better management of periodontal disease risk populations.

Several new areas of research have been added:

  • Studies of the association of periodontal disease with systemic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and respiratory infection
  • Studies of the use of growth factors including PDGF and bFGF to regenerate periodontal ligament, cementum, and bone around periodontally diseased teeth, and to regenerate bone around implants and in surgical defects
  • Genome-wide association studies of periodontal disease
  • Studies of salivary and serum biomarkers of disease

Opportunities for Students and Researchers

The Periodontal Research Center’s full-time staff provides opportunities for dental and medical students, graduate students, and visiting scientists to participate in clinically oriented research projects. The center also serves as a regional center for multicenter randomized clinical trials to test periodontal therapies, diagnostics and etiopathologic mechanisms.