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Age-related changes in immune function (immune senescence) in caries and periodontal diseases: a systematic review

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Philip Preshaw, Dr John TaylorORCiD, Professor Ruth Valentine



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Blackwell Munksgaard, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd Aim: To systematically review the evidence regarding immune senescence in the pathogenesis of periodontitis and dental caries. Methods: A systematic search of electronic databases utilizing medical subject headings (MeSH terms) supplemented by screening of review articles and other relevant texts was undertaken. Results: Seventy-three articles were included (43 for periodontitis, 30 for caries). Study results were found to be generally heterogeneous. Regarding periodontitis, human studies suggest evidence for altered neutrophil function and increased production of pro-inflammatory mediators (e.g. interleukin-1β, interleukin-6 and prostaglandin E2) in older compared to younger subjects, and animal experiments suggest increased expression of genes that contribute to a pro-inflammatory state in older compared to younger animals. Regarding dental caries, research relating to changes in immune functioning and the impact of ageing is in its infancy. A small number of studies have reported components of innate and adaptive immunity that affect the composition of saliva and dental biofilms with possible impacts on caries progression. Conclusion: There is evidence that immune functioning related to periodontitis and (less investigated) dental caries alters with increasing age. In both conditions, age-associated mechanistic changes in immune functioning are complex and incompletely understood and it is not clear how these relate to disease susceptibility.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Preshaw PM, Henne K, Taylor JJ, Valentine RA, Conrads G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Clinical Periodontology

Year: 2017

Volume: 44

Pages: S153-S177

Print publication date: 06/03/2017

Online publication date: 06/03/2017

Acceptance date: 23/12/2016

Date deposited: 31/07/2019

ISSN (print): 0303-6979

ISSN (electronic): 1600-051X

Publisher: Blackwell Munksgaard


DOI: 10.1111/jcpe.12675


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