Periodontal Physiology and Pathobiology


Course Objective

Competences according to the General Educational framework Dentistry
2008: I a-j (5), II (5)
The student
• understands the periodontal biology and periodontal cell function,
cell-cell interactions, cell-matrix interactions, structure and
development of the periodontium, regulation of cellular functions and
the role of cytokines and growth factors. In addition, knowledge on the
salivary functions and crevicular fluid biology.
• has in depth knowledge on the histopathological development of
periodontal diseases and the pathogenic mechanisms of gingival
inflammation; full comprehension of the immune reactions related to the
pathogenesis of gingival inflammation and of lesions affecting deeper
tissues; full comprehension of destruction of periodontal ligament and
alveolar bone.
• has thorough knowledge of the composition of dental and subgingival
plaque and biofilms and its chemical and microbial structure, and the
overall microbial ecology in the oral cavity. Understand the literature
pertaining to the relationship between plaque and inflammatory reactions
in the periodontal tissues.
• has deep knowledge of the various techniques and test principles to
analyse dental/subgingival plaque and identify bacterial species, for
the purpose of diagnosis and treatment planning.

Course Content

This course deals with the normal biology of the periodontium and the
pathological changes due to disease. The student will be exposed to the
scientific and text book literature on the periodontal structures, the
various periodontal cells, alveolar bone and their function and
interactions as a prelude to the complete understanding of the
pathological changes and inflammatory reactions due to periodontal
infections. A certain proportion of the population is susceptible to
periodontitis and those people develop inflammatory reactions with
periodontal destruction. Aspects of inflammation in general, immune
functions (innate and specific; humoral and cellular) will be an
important part of this course. This will be studied using histology and
immunohistochemistry. Also in this course the infectious burden and the
composition and structure of the pathologic biofilm and the oral ecology
are part of the learning aims. The student needs to know how to analyse
dental plaque and biofilms and the possible indications. Finally this
course aims to study new development in microbiomics and characteristics
of classic and newly discovered periodontal pathogens.

Teaching Methods

Literature, research and self-study; assignments; working groups,
intervision and supervision

Method of Assessment

Learning assessment
• Overall assessment of assignments during the seminars (grade: good /
pass / fail)
• Written exam: open ended questions (grade: 1-10)
A prerequisite for grade registration (grade 0-10) is successful
completion of the seminar assignments. In case of a fail for the seminar
assignment(s), and a pass for the final exam, a 5.0 will be registered
and students will need to redo the relevant seminar assignment(s).


• Readers with selected papers (compulsory)
• Capita selecta from Lindhe, J., Karring, T. & Lang, N. P. (eds).
Clinical Periodontology and Implant Dentistry, 5th edition, Oxford:
Blackwell Munksgaard (optional)

General Information

Course Code T_PHYPATHP2
Credits 6 EC
Period Ac. Year (sept)
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Dentistry
Course Coordinator dr. M.M. Danser
Examiner dr. M.M. Danser
Teaching Staff prof. dr. B.G. Loos MSc
dr. S. Paraskevas
prof. dr. U. van der Velden
dr. M.M. Danser
prof. dr. M.L. Laine
dr. ir. T.J. de Vries

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself