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The Department of Dental Medicine conducts broad ranging research in the field of oral health with the objective of contributing to the improvement of human oral health and preventing and treating oral disease. The KI Huddinge Campus offers excellent opportunities for conducting odontological research of high international class. The laboratories are well designed and contain high quality equipment. Its proximity to Novum, the Centre for Biosciences, Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge, and Södertörn University College helps to create a unique, creative and dynamic environment.


Diagnosis of Dental Caries and Dental Erosion

Early caries detection: For management of dental caries, it is crucial to differentiate between lesions in need of restorative treatment and those that can be treated preventively. The routinely used radiographic examination has been questioned due to limited information on lesion cavitation which may result in overaggressive treatment decisions. New methods have been developed to aid or replace the radiographs for detection of dental caries and monitoring of lesions. We evaluate these methods concerning accuracy, therapeutic outcome and health economical outcome. In addition, these methods are used to evaluate the effect of different anti-caries treatment regimens, e.g. probiotic bacteria, ozone, and post-brushing strategies.

Deep caries lesions: We take part in a multi-centre study, investigating the management of deep caries lesions. The need to re-enter the cavity has been questioned and therefore methods using less invasive techniques need to be evaluated in high quality studies. The use of stepwise, partial or total excavation approaches is compared.

Dental erosion is a serious pathological condition of dental hard tissue which shows an increasing incidence. The development and validation of methods for erosion-detection is of high importance.

Oral epidemiology

Register studies are performed in a diversity of research areas. We investigate the effects of the reform of the Swedish national dental health insurance scheme in 1999. This reform included subsidized replacement of dental restorations to relieve symptoms allegedly because of the adverse effect of dental restorative materials. We also investigate different outcomes of potential mercury exposure in a cohort of sons to dental personnel, oral complications in patients with medically acquired hyposalivation, as well as the risk of inflammation-related diseases among patients with periodontitis and their first-degree relatives.

Infection, immunity, and cancer

Infections associated with chronic diseases and cancers are known to induce immunological tolerance/exhaustion in order to persist in the host. In addition to therapeutic vaccination, we have shown that new functional immunity can be generated with tailor-made lymphocytes, specifically “trained” to destroy pathogens or tumor cells. By synthetic RNA modification we are able to deliver large-scale tailor-made lymphocytes for clinical studies.

Our ongoing studies also work to reveal new therapeutic targets in viral cancer, oral tumors, endodontic infections and dental caries. In addition to clinical samples, humanized mouse models, multicolor flow cytometry and next-generation sequencing are invaluable for our research.

Relevant publications

Ahlen G, Frelin F, Brenndörfer E, Brass A, Weiland O, Chen M, Sällberg M. Containing “The Great Houdini” of viruses: Combining directly acting antivirals with the host immune response for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. Drug Resistance Updates. 2013. Aug 1.

Astvaldsdóttir A, Ahlund K, Holbrook WP, de Verdier B, Tranæus S. Approximal Caries Detection by DIFOTI: In Vitro Comparison of Diagnostic Accuracy /Efficacy with Film and Digital Radiography. Int J Dent. 2012

Björndal L, Reit C, Bruun G, Markvart M, Kjaeldgaard M, Näsman P , et al. Treatment of deep caries lesions in adults: randomized clinical trials comparing stepwise vs. direct complete excavation, and direct pulp capping vs. partial pulpotomy. Eur J Oral Sci 2010

Naimi-Akbar A, Sandborgh Englund G, Ekbom A, Ekstrand J, Montgomery S. Cognitive function among sons of women who worked in dentistry. Scand J Work Environ Health 2012.

Naimi-Akbar A, Svedberg P, Alexanderson K, Ekstrand J, Sandborgh-Englund G. Reliance on social security benefits by Swedish patients with ill-health attributed to dental fillings: a register-based cohort study. BMC Public Health 2012;12:713.

Pasetto A, Aleman S, Chen M. Functional Attributes of Responding T Cells in HCV Infection: The Recent Advances in Engineering Functional Antiviral T Cells. Arch Immunol Ther Exp. 2014 Feb;62(1):23-30.

Sköld-Larsson K, Sollenius O, Karlsson L, Petersson LG, Twetman S. Effect of fluoridated milk on enamel demineralization adjacent to fixed orthodontic appliances. Acta Odontol Scand. 2013

Key Researchers

Gunilla Sandborgh Englund, Professor

Margaret Sällberg Chen, Assoc prof

Alfheidur Astvaldsdottir, DDS, PhD

Aron Naimi-Akbar, DDS, PhD

Lena Karlsson, RDH, PhD

Marianne Kjaeldgaard, DDS, PhD.

Image and Functional Odontology

Accurate diagnosis is essential to ensure the most effective treatment for patients in dentistry. Among all diagnostic tools the X-ray examination is the method most often for diagnosing hard tissue changes in dental clinics. At the Division of Image and Functional Odontology our research focuses on a variety of topics in the field of oral maxillofacial radiology from physical properties of digital radiographic systems, image processing methods to assessment of image quality and diagnostic performance of different image modalities. We have both national and international collaborations.


Current projects

Strategies of dose reduction and optimizing image quality regarding adequate diagnostic information for different image modalities in odontology.

Evaluation of cone beam computed tomography with respect to effective radiation dose and diagnostic properties

Comparison of image quality of two digital intraoral sensors

Potential benefit and radiation risk of cone beam computed tomography on children with impacted canines

A Survey on the application of image enhancement on digital intraoral radiographs amongst general dentists

Correlation between adenoid nasopharygeal ratio on lateral cephalogram and airway volume from cone-beam computed tomography

Application of a web-based learning program for dental education on radiographic diagnoses of carious lesions

Group members

Xie-Qi Shi, Research Group Leader/DDS, PhD, Associate Professor

Karin Näsström, Head of Division/DDS, PhD

Daniel Benchimol, Specialist Dentist/PhD student

Nils Kadesjö, Medical Physicist/PhD student

Sophia Arledal, Specialist Trainee/Master Student

Linnea Dahlström, Specialist Trainee/Master Student

Cinar Aziman, Specialist Trainee/Master Student

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

At the division of oral and maxillofacial surgery research is conducted in the area of antibiotics, infection and infection dissemination, temporomandibular joint surgery, benign tumours and orthognatic surgery.

Ongoing research

Lund B, Holmlund A, Wretlind B, Jala S, Kruger Weiner C, Rosén A. Reactive arthritis probably not the mechanism of internal derangement of the temporomandibular joint: a case control study. Submitted.

Jarnbring F, Kashani A, Björk A, Hoffman T, Krawiec K, Ljungman P, Lund B. The role of intravenous bisphosphonates in relation to other suggested etiological factors in the development of osteonecrosis of the jaws in myeloma patients. Submitted.

Vidana R, Sillerström E, Ahlquist M, Lund B. Potential for nosocomial transmission of Enterococcus faecalis from surfaces in dental operatories.Submitted.

Lund B, Kruger Weiner C, Benchimol D, Holmlund A. Osteochondroma of the glenoid fossa – report of two cases with sudden onset of symptoms. Submitted.

Rosén A, Kruger Weiner C, Sugars R. Patients treated with distraction osteogenesis: a follow-up study of frontal open bites and mandibular fracture. Submitted.

Sjögren E, Huusko E, Lundholm P, Koster K, Lund B. Digital image sensors possible source of nosocomial transmission in the dental office.

Najem N, Lazaridis A, Lund B. Compliance with hygienic recommendations in dental practice.

Skålén M, Kruger Weiner C, Harju-Jeanty D, Rosén A, Heymann R, Lund B. Implementation of a Web-based patient simulation program in the undergraduate training of dentist.

Heymann R, Kruger Weiner C, Rosén A, Lund B. Morbidity of buccal mucosal graft harvesting for urethroplasty: a long term follow-up study.

Lund B, Kahlil D, Hultin M. Susceptibility changes among oral microorganisms following single dose antibiotic prophylaxis.

Lund B, Vidana R, Weintraub A, Öznei V. Virulence traits and antibiotic susceptibility pattern for enterococci from dental infections compared to isolates from varoius different origins.

Lund B, Vidana R, Weintraub A, Öznei V. Genetic mapping of enterococci

Orofacial Pain

The research group focuses on increasing our knowledge concerning the mechanisms behind chronic orofacial pain, emphasising jaw muscle pain and its sex differences. The research is translational, spanning from basic research conducted in patients and matched pain-free controls via human experimental studies where pain is experimentally induced to clinical intervention studies. We study potential peripheral biomarkers, such as serotonin, glutamate, cytokines and neuropeptides.


In collaboration with other research groups we investigate if certain genetic variants (single nucleotide peptides) are associated with jaw muscle pain and study the protein expression patterns in saliva to search for potential unknown pain biomarkers. Adopted methods include intramuscular microdialysis, microbiopsies, cold pressor test, exercise-induced analgesia and quantitative sensory testing (sensory and pain thresholds for warmth, cold and mechanical stimuli), as well as genomics and proteomics.

The Orofacial Pain research group is part of the larger orofacial neuroscience group at the Department of Dental Medicine, which in turn collaborates with other leading research groups in Malmö and Aarhus, via the recently initiated Scandinavian Center for Orofacial Neuroscience (SCON). The group also has a close collaboration with the Specialist Clinic for Orofacial Pain at the Eastman Institute in Stockholm.