The periodontium

Stephen E. Harris, Audrey Rakian, Brian L. Foster, Yong Hee Patricia Chun, Rubie Rakian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter focuses on the biology and signaling pathways that regulate the periodontium, a key target for bone loss that impacts the supporting structures for the teeth. We will discuss the interacting roles of the sclerostin-canonical Wnt, parathyroid hormone (PTH)/parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), hedgehog signal, and the Bmp signaling pathway on the development and homeostasis of the mesenchymal components of the periodontium including the supporting alveolar bone, periodontal ligaments, and cementum associated with integration of the periodontal ligament. We discuss the key downstream proteins and genes of periodontium formation-tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphate, (alpl), Ennp1, Ank, Ibsp, and Spp1-and evidence for their role as key regulators of cementogenesis and mineral formation in the context of the periodontium. Also, we include a discussion of the junctional epithelium and oral mucosa as key components of the periodontium. In particular, our focus includes the stem/progenitor cells-where they reside and their capacity to differentiate into the components of the periodontium. Molecular and mechanistic insights have been discovered with transcriptome and epigenetic analysis of periodontal stem/progenitor cells. The complex regulatory domains of the Bmp2 gene will be shown as an example. Overall, a model is presented to integrate the hedgehog, PTH/PTHrP, Wnt, and Bmp pathways in periodontal biology. New paradigms will be discussed for the treatment of periodontal disease and other major craniofacial defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPrinciples of Bone Biology
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780128148419
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Alveolar bone
  • Bmp2
  • Cementum
  • Hedgehog signaling
  • Junctional epithelium
  • Mineralization regulation
  • PTH/PTHrP signaling
  • Periodontal ligament
  • Wnt signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'The periodontium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this