About Us


This study builds on the success of its predecessor, Genetic Factors Contributing to Oral Health Disparities in Appalachia. (http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/sod/Departments/Research/Grants/cohra.aspx)

Among other important findings, that study revealed that children aged 2-5 in our Northern Appalachia study population had caries (cavities) experience 144% greater than that of their peers in the rest of the nation. Our long-term goal is to determine the cause of oral health disparity in our population and design effective preventative measures. As a result, researchers at WVU and other major universities have teamed up for a new project: Factors Contributing to Oral Health Disparities in Appalachia.

To accomplish this goal we will recruit approximately 1,000 pregnant women and follow them and their babies for a period of two years. Using a combination of a few in person visits and a few telephone interview sessions our research team will gather data about dental disease, taste preference demographics, diet and medical history for both mother and baby.

The specific aims of this project are:

Specific Aim 1: Determine the factors contributing to early development of poor oral health in Appalachia.

Specific Aim 2: Replicate and follow-up genetics results utilizing the participants from the first project period (Genetic Factors Contributing to Oral Health Disparities in Appalachia/Cohort-1) and the newly recruited families from Specific Aim 1 (Factors Contributing to Oral Disparities in Appalachia/Cohort-2).

Specific Aim 3: Evaluate microbial ecology utilizing Cohort-1 and Cohort-2

Specific Aim 4: Establish the contexts in which genes, microbial ecology, and environmental/behavioral factors result in increased vulnerability to or increased protection from oral disease (Cohort-1 and Cohort-2).