Author(s): Garlet GP
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Abstract Periodontal diseases (PD) are chronic infectious inflammatory diseases characterized by the destruction of tooth-supporting structures, being the presence of periodontopathogens required, but not sufficient, for disease development. As a general rule, host inflammatory mediators have been associated with tissue destruction, while anti-inflammatory mediators counteract and attenuate disease progression. With the discovery of several T-cell subsets bearing distinct immunoregulatory properties, this pro- vs. anti-inflammatory scenario became more complex, and a series of studies has hypothesized protective or destructive roles for Th1, Th2, Th17, and Treg subpopulations of polarized lymphocytes. Interestingly, the "protective vs. destructive" archetype is usually considered in a framework related to tissue destruction and disease progression. However, it is important to remember that periodontal diseases are infectious inflammatory conditions, and recent studies have demonstrated that cytokines (TNF-α and IFN-γ) considered harmful in the context of tissue destruction play important roles in the control of periodontal infection. Therefore, in this review, the state-of-the-art knowledge concerning the protective and destructive roles of host inflammatory immune response will be critically evaluated and discussed from the tissue destruction and control-of-infection viewpoints.
This article was published in J Dent Res
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology