Inter-generational continuity in periodontal health: findings from the Dunedin Family History Study

Department of Oral Sciences, School of Dentistry, Dunedin, New Zealand Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, England.
Journal Of Clinical Periodontology (Impact Factor: 4.01). 04/2011; 38(4):301-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2011.01704.x
Source: PubMed


To determine whether parental periodontal disease history is a risk factor for periodontal disease in adult offspring.
Proband periodontal examination [combined attachment loss (CAL) at age 32, and incidence of CAL from ages 26 to 32] and interview data were collected during the age-32 assessments in the Dunedin Study. Parental data were also collected. The sample was divided into two familial-risk groups for periodontal disease (high- and low-risk) based on parents' self-reported periodontal disease.
Periodontal risk analysis involved 625 proband-parent(s) groups. After controlling for confounding factors, the high-familial-risk periodontal group was more likely to have 1+ sites with 4+mm CAL [relative risk (RR) 1.45; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11-1.88], 2+ sites with 4+mm CAL (RR 1.45; 95% CI 1.03-2.05), 1+ sites with 5+mm CAL (RR 1.60; 95% CI 1.02-2.50), and 1+ sites with 3+mm incident CAL (RR 1.64; 95% CI 1.01-2.66) than the low-familial-risk group. Predictive validity was enhanced when information was available from both parents.
Parents with poor periodontal health tend to have offspring with poor periodontal health. Family/parental history of oral health is a valid representation of the shared genetic and environmental factors that contribute to an individual's periodontal status, and may help to predict patient prognosis and preventive treatment need.

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    • "Pediatrician Thomas Boyce and colleagues studying 5-year old children have demonstrated how psychosocial , infectious, and stress-related processes seem to converge in the development of caries and thus contribute to increasing the risk that future, overall dental health be impaired [13]. The highly acknowledged, prospective Dunedin Study from New Zealand, which followed the impact of psychosocial distress on children over a period of years, has shown a clear correlation between the dental health of the children and that of their parents, reflecting social gradients [88]. In a recent US study, allostatic load, impaired dental health, and low sociocultural status have also been shown to be associated [12]. "
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