The structures that surround and support the tooth include both hard mineralized tissues (cementum and alveolar bone), and soft tissues (the periodontal ligament and gingiva). These structures collectively form the periodontium, whose major functions include tooth support, proprioception, nutrition, homeostasis, and repair. Of these functions, periodontal tissue homeostasis and repair, in particular, depends upon the control of a wide range of cellular activities such as proliferation, differentiation, collagen turnover, and the synthesis and resorption of soft and hard tissues (Schroeder, 1986). These cellular activities and their regulation are therefore of critical importance in any response to disease or injury. Most of the common forms of periodontal disease involve chronic inflammatory processes that can lead to the irreversible loss of both soft and hard periodontal tissue which, if left untreated, may ultimately result in tooth loss (Pihlstrom et al., 2005). A recent survey of the Australian population‟s oral health status has demonstrated that 22.9% of the adult population has some degree of periodontitis (Health, 2009). Clearly, this is a health problem of national significance. Following resolution of the inflammatory pathogenic mechanisms associated with periodontitis, the ultimate goal of periodontal treatment is the regeneration of the lost mineralized and / or soft tissue components of the periodontal attachment apparatus. Hence, it is crucial to understand the mechanism(s) underlining periodontal tissue healing and repair if this goal is to be achievable. Cementogenesis is a key event in periodontal regeneration as it is the cementum layer on the tooth surface into which the fibers of the periodontal ligament are inserted to provide functional attachment between the tooth and the alveolar bone.Thesis (PhD Doctorate)Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)School of Dentistry and Oral HealthGriffith HealthFull Tex
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