Periodontitis, the most common chronic inflammatory disease known world-wide, is characterized
by pathologically-excessive degradation of collagen and other connective tissue constituents
and accelerated resorption of the alveolar bone in the periodontal supporting structures of the teeth including
the gingiva, periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone. Nationwide, the prevalence of periodontal
disease, in some form, is known to affect up to 50% of the adult population and is a substantial
inflammatory burden which can be detrimental to over-all systemic health. In this regard, this common
dental disease, chronic periodontitis, has, over the past few decades, been increasingly linked to a variety of medical diseases
such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke, increased severity of diabetes, low birth weight babies (controversial),
bacterial pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, Crohn’s disease, HIV Diseases, and head and neck cancer.
Decades ago it was thought that all adults were essentially equally susceptible to periodontal disease. More recently, various
risk factors such as genetic factors have been identified which significantly impact the susceptibility to periodontitis.
Therefore, identifying individuals at risk for development of severe periodontitis provides a way for early interventions.