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Advancing Oral Medicine and Dentistry Through Research

Our oral medicine research goes beyond looking at the oral cavity itself. Our team, with expertise in clinical, translational bench-top and bioinformatics research, explores both the impact of systemic disease on the oral cavity and systemic implications for oral disease. With a long history of successfully running industry- and government-supported clinical studies and trials, our program offers clinicians better and more effective ways to treat their patients.

Equipped for Running Studies and Treating Patients

With research-faculty renowned for their expertise, state-of-the-art oral medicine research laboratories and direct access to faculty from other therapeutic disciplines, our program is fully equipped to run and manage research projects of all sizes.

Our oral medicine research program has:

  • Received five NIH grants in the last decade (totaling $15 million)
  • Had 47 peer-reviewed publications
  • Given 20 national and international research presentations
  • Enrolled over 400 patients in studies or trials at Atrium Health

Our team studies issues ranging from oral manifestations of systemic disease to systemic implications of oral disease. Our researchers are part of Carolinas Center for Oral Health and Carolinas Medical Center Dental Clinic within Atrium Health’s surgery care division.

A Strong Infrastructure for Conducting Studies

Treating more than 12,500 patients per year and routinely conducting complex research, our oral medicine research program earns its international reputation for high impact studies.

With ongoing clinical studies, clinical trials and translational research and bioinformatics research studies, our team is most active in the following areas:

  • Sjogren’s syndrome: Collaborating with other researchers and sponsors, we establish guidelines for managing head and neck manifestations more effectively.
  • Head and neck cancer: Working with the NIH, we establish guidelines for managing cancer treatment more effectively. One example: Determining when it’s appropriate for a patient to have a dental procedure prior to receiving radiation in the jawbone area.
  • Oral lichen planus: Working with industry sponsors on the first FDA-approved interventional trial, we’re helping to determine how to better treat and manage manifestations of this painful condition.
  • Oral hygiene: Partnering with NIH, we explore the role oral hygiene plays in heart valve infections.
  • Oral mucositis resulting from cancer therapies: Collaborating with sponsors, we help determine how to prevent this condition and improve the patient experience during cancer treatment.

Oral Medicine Bench-to-Bedside Focus

Bench-top research is conducted within Atrium Health’s Microbiome Research Laboratory and Translational Genomics Laboratory. This research combines microbial metagenomics and meta transcriptomics, human genomics and transcriptomics, and computational systems biology approaches to determine disease biomarkers and therapy complications.

Working hand-in-hand with clinical and surgical-researchers, these scientists align translational insights to provide more advanced diagnostic procedures and management of conditions.

Residency Training

Our oral medicine residents identify one or more areas of clinical research to pursue on a longitudinal basis with faculty supervision. Recently, three of our oral medicine residents were recognized by the American Academy of Oral Medicine for their outstanding research efforts.

Learn more information about our general practice residency and oral medicine residency programs.