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Department of Dentistry and Oral Surgery

Introduction to Department

With its priority on contributing to local medical care, the Department is involved in treatment, research, and education as the central institution for maxillofacial disorders in Wakayama Prefecture. Oromandibular medical treatment is aimed at maintenance and better recovery of functions such as chewing and swallowing.

In terms of research, the Department aims to open the door as widely as possible to proactive research collaborations with other institutions, and carry out solid basic research to resolve issues raised in actual clinical practice.

Research Overview

  1. Research into temporomandibular joint disease
    • Clinical research into malocclusion and systemic abnormalities, and temporomandibular dysfunction
      Recent years have seen a marked increase in temporomandibular dysfunction, and although analysis of the pathology of the disease is progressing gradually, its cause has yet to be established. The Department is engaged in an epidemiological survey (questionnaire, health check) in specific populations such as junior high school and high school students, and middle-aged and elderly people to obtain basic scientific data for the analysis of etiological contributing factors for temporomandibular dysfunction. In addition, progress is being made with systematization of the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of temporomandibular dysfunction by means of history taking, diagnostic imaging, plotting of jaw movements, and electromyogram of patients examined in the Department.
    • Cell biological research on the pathology of biosynthesis of extracellular matrix in internal derangement of articular disks
      The Department is engaged in immunohistological study of delineated temporomandibular joint disk specimens to elucidate the pathology of biosynthesis of extracellular matrix and, more particularly, proteoglycans, in temporomandibular joint disks. In addition, a culture system for synovial membrane in the temporomandibular joint is being used to screen for expression of proteoglycans, cytokines, and their receptors. Onset of synovitis and synovial condoromatosis in temporomandibular joint arthrosis are thought to be related or similar phenomena, and genetic analysis of synovial condoromatosis is underway.
  2. Research into the establishment of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) for oral squamous cell carcinoma

    In addition to studies of multi-drug anticancer therapies with a focus on CDDP, and the prevention of adverse reactions, the Department is also engaged in screening of NACs for histological effect and searching for potential for reduction surgery. Five-year survival rates are gradually increasing and NACs have been found to have a direct effect on prognosis. Prognosis for patients who undergo reduction surgery is good and further study is underway aimed at functional radical treatment at the same time as establishment of NACs for oral cancers.

    The Department is engaged in screening for genes involved in drug susceptibility and resistance to a two-route infusion therapy with CDDP-TXT-PEP using cell lines derived from oral cancers, and molecular biological screening for anticancer drug auxiliary agents, particularly cepharanthin.
  3. Research into the expression of amputation neuroma and abnormal pain sensation caused by lingual nerve injury

    Marked degeneration of nerve endings and formation of amputation neuroma occurs at nerve affected sites that have been neglected for a long time. In addition, inflammation-inducing substances are released in the vicinity of an injury, and are thought to affect pathways for the transmission of pain sensation and activate receptor groups expressed in the opposing ganglia.

    The Department is engaged in immunohistological research targeting specific proteins and inflammation-inducing substances in amputation neuroma specimens, and is attempting to elucidate the pathology of regeneration of the lingual nerve and neuropathic pain.