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Dental health on a molecular level
Updated: 12/7/2009 5:00:15 PM

Dental health on a molecular level Although poor teeth cleaning habits may lead to dental health issues, some individuals experience such problems for an entirely different reason.

Proctor and Gamble (PG), a large multinational consumer goods company, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) recently conducted research revealing that 9,000 genes are expressed differently during the development of and recovery from gingivitis.

Gene expression is the process by which proteins and RNA are produced. The PG-UNC study is the first to identify the mechanism in the healing process of gingivitis.

"The study's findings demonstrate that clinical symptoms of gingivitis reflect complicated changes in cellular and molecular processes within the body," said Dr Steven Offenbacher, the study's lead author. "Understanding the thousands of individual genes and multiple systems involved in gingivitis will help explain exactly what is occurring in a person's body at the onset of the disease and how it relates to their overall health."

The Mayo Clinic says individuals whose gums bleed when they brush may have gingivitis. Some people have such mild gingivitis that they are unaware of the problem, but even light cases of this gum disease can become serious with time.

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