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Clinical research is an integral part of the mission of our department and a critical element in the training of clinicians who must keep up with and interpret the important literature in their field. Our department has active clinical and basic science research focusing on problems in the field of oral medicine. Some of our faculty members have a heavy commitment to research and are involved in several important studies at any given time. In addition to the many publications, textbook chapters, and research grants produced by the department, this commitment also provides for solid clinical research training for oral medicine residents.

Early in their training, oral medicine residents will identify one or more areas of clinical research to pursue on a longitudinal basis with faculty supervision. Training includes exposure to grant, abstract, and manuscript writing, as well as the development and implementation of clinical and/or basic science research studies.

Some examples of current research initiatives are:

  • Examine the dental and oral complications in head and neck cancer patients treated with radio therapy ($8 million NIH grant).
  • Examine the overall health effects of bacteremia (bacteria in the blood stream) from dental disease, specifically the role of dental disease in infective endocarditis.
  • Develop new treatments and biological markers for patients with Sjögren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that affects as many as 4 million Americans.
  • Evaluate the pathophysiology and treatment of cancer treatment related alimentary mucositis.
  • Examine oral complications in cancer patients treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.


Select publications from our past oral medicine residents’ work include:

Valdez JA, Brennan MT.  Impact of Oral Cancer on Quality of Life.  Dent Clin North Am. 2018 Jan;62(1):143-154

Bowers L, Brennan M. Atlas Oral Maxillofac Surg Clin North Am. Oral Complications of Multiorgan Disorders.2017 Sep;25(2):187-195

Marable DR, Bowers LM, Stout T, Stewart CM, Berg KM, Sankar VS, DeRossi SS, Thoppay JR, Brennan MT. Oral candidiasis following steroid therapy for oral lichen planus. Oral Dis. 2016 Mar;22(2):140-7.

Kumar A, Brennan MT. Differential diagnosis of orofacial pain and temporomandibular disorder. Dent Clin North Am. 2013 Jul;57(3):419-28.

Likar-Manookin K, Stewart C, Al-Hashimi I, Curtis W, Berg K, Cherian K, Lockhart P, Brennan M. Prevalence of oral lesions of autoimmune etiology in patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome. Oral Dis. 2013 Sep;19(6):598-603.

Issa B, Padilla R, Brennan MT. Diagnosis and management of mucosal lesions with the potential for malignant transformation. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2013 May;41(5):343-8.

Fortuna G, Brennan MT. Systemic lupus erythematosus: epidemiology, pathophysiology, manifestations, and management. Dent Clin North Am. 2013 Oct;57(4):631-55.

Rouleau TS, Manookin KM, Brennan MT. Restricted mouth opening. J Am Dent Assoc. 2012 Jul;143(7):767-70.

Guinn AC, Rouleau TS, and Brennan MT. Burning Tongue and Lips. J Am Dent Assoc. 2010; May;141(5):541-5.

Rouleau TS, Shychuk AJ, Kayastha J, Lockhart PB, Nussbaum ML, Brennan MT.A retrospective, cohort study of the prevalence and risk factors of oral burning in patients with dry mouth. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2011; Jun;111(6):720-5.

Rouleau T, Harrington A, Brennan M, Hammond F, Hirsch M, Nussbaum M, Bockenek W. Receipt of dental care and barriers encountered by persons with disabilities. Spec Care Dentist. 2011; Mar-Apr;31(2):63-7.

Napeñas JJ, Brennan MT, Coleman S, Kent ML, Noll J, Frenette G, Fox PC, Mougeot JL, Paster BJ, Lockhart PB, and Bahrani-Mougeot FK. Comparison of the oral bacterial flora profile before and following chemotherapy in cancer patients. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2010; Apr;109(4):554-60.

Brennan MT, Valerin MA, Noll JL, Napeñas JJ, Kent ML, Fox PC, Sasser HC, Lockhart PB. Aspirin Use and Post-operative Bleeding from Dental Extractions. J Dent Res. 2008; Aug;87(8):740-4.

Valerin MA, Napenas JJ, Brennan MT, Fox PC, Lockhart PB. Modified Child-Pugh score as a marker for postoperative bleeding from invasive dental procedures. OOOOE. 2007; 104(1):56-60.

Napenas JJ, Brennan MT, Bahrani-Mougeot FK, Fox PC, Lockhart PB. Relationship between mucositis and changes in oral microflora during cancer chemotherapy. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2007; Jan;103(1):48-59.

Shariff G, Brennan MT, Kent ML, Fox PC, Weinrib D, Burgess P, Lockhart PB.  Relationship Between Oral Bacteria and Hemodialysis Access Infection. OOOOE. 2004; Oct;98(4):418-22.