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School of Dental Medicine seeks patients for gum disease study

ALTON – A periodontist from the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine is seeking 60 volunteers for clinical research on a project she is helming titled, “Biomarkers of Periodontal Disease Progression.”

Dr. Nathalia Garcia said the multi-center study is funded by the National Institutes of Health. A total of 500 clinical subjects will take part in the study across the country.

The purpose of this study is to discover which germs make gum disease worse. The study requires volunteers to visit the SDM clinic for up to 14 visits. To qualify, a volunteer must:

– Be at least 25 years old

– Have at least 20 natural teeth, not counting wisdom teeth

– Have not used tobacco products for at least a year

Patients will be paid for participating in the study. At the study’s conclusion, participants will receive a full dental cleaning.

At the SDM, Garcia will oversee 60 patients and work with colleagues Dr. Douglas Miley, professor of periodontics and implant dentistry and director of the Advanced Program in Periodontics; Dr. Debra Dixon, associate professor and section head of diagnostic sciences; and Dr. M. Jane Gillespie, section head of microbiology and former director of research at the SDM. Three dedicated dental hygienists and a molecular biologist will also participate.

For more information contact SIU School of Dental Medicine at (314) 747-9448 or (618) 474-7134, or via email at

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