“We found that a considerable proportion of severe periodontitis cases can be explained by common genetic variation, and this proportion exceeds 50% when we account for the joint effects of smoking and genetic factors,” said Dr. Divaris. “What was more unexpected and significant was the relationship between the nervous system pathways and periodontitis, complementary to infection and immune response relationships…our results were strongly indicative for a role of neurotransmitter and nervous system functions in chronic periodontitis. What is more intriguing is that pathways making up a neurogenic inflammatory reflex may, in part, be responsible for a ‘hyper-inflammatory’ trait which could render some people more susceptible to periodontitis, but also to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and other inflammation-related conditions…We know that intraoral bacteria that are found on or beneath a person’s gums can result in varying levels of immune response and severity of periodontal disease. These differences in clinical disease are consistent with the existence of a hyper-inflammatory trait, which may contribute to some individuals having aggressive or severe forms of periodontitis when others would have mild forms of the disease,” he explained.
(Source: University of North Carolina, March 4, 2013)