Adjunct Associate Professor
Division of Community Oral Health
Department of Oral Medicine
Recent literature highlights the early appearance of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in children as a major public health concern. The oral health implications of early onset of metabolic disease are just being explored, as well as the role of dental providers in addressing early manifestations. In addition, the association of diseases such as diabetes and obesity and oral health in the young is unclear, as it is confounded and modified by many factors. Our group has conducted observational studies addressing the prevalence of overweight in dental settings and oral health considerations in children with cardiovascular disease.
Another research interest is outcome assessment in orofacial pain, including the epidemiology of orofacial pain in children and adolescents. Measurement issues challenge the translation of clinical trial results into practice and the validity of efficacy studies of current treatment alternatives in orofacial pain. Development and validation of patient-centered pain measures is crucial to understand the clinical significance of pain relief in this population and its relationship to changes in CNS imaging. A secondary interest is pain processing and perception in children and adolescents, in particular the effect of perceived pain experiences on attitudes towards dental treatment.