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The influence of epigenetics in relation to oral health

Journal article
Authors S. Lod
T. Johansson
Kajsa H. Abrahamsson
Lena Larsson
Published in International Journal of Dental Hygiene
Volume 12
Issue 1
Pages 48-54
ISSN 1601-5029
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Odontology
Pages 48-54
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1111/idh.12030
Keywords diet, epigenetic, inflammation, oral health, smoking, SQUAMOUS-CELL CARCINOMA, HISTONE DEACETYLASE INHIBITORS, DNA METHYLATION, STATUS, IL8 GENE PROMOTER, CHRONIC PERIODONTITIS, RHEUMATOID-ARTHRITIS, CHRONIC INFLAMMATION, EXPRESSION, DISEASE, CANCER
Subject categories Dentistry

Abstract

The immune response is influenced by genetic and epigenetic factors, as well as disease and environmental factors. The term epigenetics' describes changes in the genome that influence the gene expression without altering the DNA sequence. In contrast to genetic changes in the DNA, epigenetic changes are reversible and are influenced by environmental factors. The aim of this study is to review the literature on epigenetic modifications with respect to oral health and inflammatory conditions in the oral cavity and to discuss the potential use of this new research field for the dental hygienists' and/or dentists' clinical work. Relevant publications were identified using the PubMed database without limits. The searches were conducted during January to March 2012 and resulted in articles published between 1912 and 2012. Key factors such as environment, diet, smoking, bacteria and inflammation were identified to be relevant to oral health. The result of this review article shows that there is a void in the research on epigenetics in relation to oral health. Identification of epigenetic modifications correlating with oral health may not only present a link between the influence of genetics and that of the environment on oral diseases but also provide new treatment models and tools for the dental professionals.

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