Dental and Oral Infectious Diseases

          Oral infections are some of the most common diseases in humans. The two most common oral infections are caries and periodontal disease. Dental caries is the most common chronic disease of childhood and is the biggest unmet health care need among America’s children. Periodontal disease is the most common infectious disease of adults. At least 1/3 of the population is affected by chronic periodontitis, a bacterially induced destruction of the attachment of the tooth to bone. Research is focused on understanding the etiology of these complex diseases and identifying new therapies. We are also interested in the interaction of oral pathogens with host tissues. Oral conditions such as burning mouth syndrome or the removal of 3rd molars can impact the sense of taste. Taste also contributes to our quality of life. People spend countless hours and financial resources eating and exploring new cuisines.