Animal models and cell cultures have contributed new knowledge in biological sciences, including periodontology. Although cultured cells can be used to study physiological processes that occur during the pathogenesis of periodontitis, the complex host response fundamentally responsible for this disease cannot be reproduced in vitro. Among the animal kingdom, rodents, rabbits, pigs, dogs, and nonhuman primates have been used to model human periodontitis, each with advantages and disadvantages. Periodontitis commonly has been induced by placing a bacterial plaque retentive ligature in the gingival sulcus around the molar teeth. In addition, alveolar bone loss has been induced by inoculation or injection of human oral bacteria (e.g., Porphyromonas gingivalis) in different animal models. While animal models have provided a wide range of important data, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether the findings are applicable to humans. In addition, variability in host responses to bacterial infection among individuals contributes significantly to the expression of periodontal diseases. A practical and highly reproducible model that truly mimics the natural pathogenesis of human periodontal disease has yet to be developed.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Oz, Helieh S. and Puleo, David A., "Animal Models for Periodontal Disease" (2011). Center for Oral Health Research Faculty Publications. Paper 8.