The University at Buffalo is a part of a major study on Periodontal disease. UB Distinguished Professor of Periodontics Dr. Robert Genco is the principal investigator for the Buffalo Clinical Center.
WBFO's Eileen Buckley reports on the study called the "Biomarkers of Periodontal Disease Progression".
"Biomarkers are inflammatory markers," said Dr. Genco.
Dr. Genco says periodontal disease is an infection and leads to the loss of the soft tissue. If untreated it can create tooth loss or other health issues.
The National Institutes of Health is funding the Periodontal Research Center at Buffalo. The Biomarkers study will monitor subjects for one year and treat their periodontal disease.
"The study involves five centers, and Buffalo is one of the lead centers, and the total number of subjects will be 375 subjects with periodontal disease and 125 with little or no periodontal disease," said Genco. "The subjects are followed very carefully and if they break down in one or more sites, then those sites are treated. What we do is measure the inflammatory markers and the bacteria before they break down so we can hope to discover some of the predictors.
Dr. Genco said some of the predictors are hormones like proteins and bacteria. The study will track the progression of the disease in both men and women.
"Clearly periodontal disease has risk factors that make it worst. One is diabetes and another is smoking," said Genco.
UB has been involved in these types of dental studies for years.
Dr. Genco was was recently awarded a very prestigious national award for his work and research. He was the recipient of the American Academy of Periodontology's (AAP) Distinguished Scientist Award for 2012.
Work on the current biomarkers study will conclude in 2014.