PhD student on "Oral diseases within a dynamic life course framework: from childhood to young adulthood"

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 30 Nov 2021

The Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) holds an active epidemiological research line within the Generation R Study. This research line is aimed at identifying environmental, lifestyle and biological factors influencing oral health outcomes with the aim of developing effective strategies for improving oral health.

The project you will be working on as a PhD student focuses on investigating the determinants of developing caries from childhood to young adulthood and translating these risk factors into successful oral health prevention measures. Research has identified a variety of factors that are associated with increased risk for developing dental caries, including genetic and non-genetic determinants. Although preventable, dental caries remains one of the most common non-communicable diseases worldwide among all age groups, with preventive measures failing to reduce the continuous rise in the incidence of dental caries worldwide. Moreover, socioeconomic inequalities in dental caries prevalence have been on the rise globally. This suggests that the development of oral disease patterns across populations and over time has not been sufficiently understood in order to develop effective preventive strategies.

This research project focuses on investigating the biological, behavioral, psychological, social and environmental influences along the life-course that hold a long-term impact on oral health outcomes, particularly dental caries. The aim of this study is to explore dental caries trajectories of individuals to pinpoint critical age periods where interventions can modify the onset of caries. On the long-term, results of this study will enable the development of tailored preventive oral health programs. These programs will target scientifically-proven risk groups and behaviors in the population, but importantly, will also take into consideration the importance of time (duration) and timing of exposures leading to oral disease development.

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