Neutrophil response to dental plaque by gender and race

J Dent Res. 2009 Aug;88(8):709-14. doi: 10.1177/0022034509339019.


The inflammatory response, which has both genetic and environmental components, is a central mechanism linking oral and systemic diseases. We hypothesized that dental plaque accumulation over 21 days in the experimental gingivitis model would elicit systemic inflammatory responses [change in white blood cell (WBC) count and neutrophil activity], and that these responses would differ by gender/race. We recruited 156 healthy young adults, including black and white males and females. Plaque Index (PI), Gingival Index (GI), systemic WBC counts, and peripheral neutrophil oxidative activity were recorded. Overall, 128 participants completed the study. During the experimental phase, the correlation between PI and GI was 0.79. Total WBC and neutrophil counts did not change. Neutrophil activity increased in blacks but not whites, suggesting that there may be racial differences in the inflammatory response to dental plaque accumulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Black or African American*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dental Plaque / immunology*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Dental Prophylaxis
  • Female
  • Gingivitis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Luminescence
  • Male
  • Neutrophil Infiltration
  • Neutrophils / physiology*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Sex Factors
  • White People*
  • Young Adult