Adjunct faculty Elter honored for study of link between periodontal, systemic health

July 26, 2006
Dr. John R. Elter, adjunct assistant professor of health policy and administration, recently received the 2006 Sunstar Award for most outstanding paper on the relationship between periodontal disease and systemic conditions – those that affect the entire body.The Sunstar Award screening committee selected “Relationship of Periodontal Disease and Tooth Loss to Prevalence of Coronary Heart Disease,” published in the June 2004 issue of the Journal of Periodontology, for first prize. The study’s findings suggested that tooth loss and periodontal disease are associated with coronary heart disease only when both conditions are present.

Elter, principal author of the study, also is an adjunct assistant professor of dental ecology in the School of Dentistry and director of surveys for the Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Quality and Performance.

Co-authors, all in the dental school, were

  • Dr. Catherine M.E. Champagne, research assistant professor of periodontology
  • Dr. Steven Offenbacher, OraPharma distinguished professor of periodontal medicine
  • Dr. James D. Beck, Kenan professor of dental ecology.

Offenbacher and Beck co-direct the dental school’s Center for Oral and Systemic Diseases.

Elter accepted the award during the recent Europerio 5 Congress in Madrid, Spain, organized by the European Federation of Periodontology and the Spanish Society of Periodontology and Osteointegration.

The Sunstar Foundation for Oral Health Promotion sponsored the award in collaboration with the Journal of Periodontology, the Journal of Clinical Periodontology and the Journal of Periodontal Research. Co-sponsors are Sunstar Inc., a company that manufactures and retails oral care products such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, and Sunstar Butler, Sunstar Inc.’s U.S. subsidiary.

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School of Dentistry contact: Deb Saine, (919) 966-2731,

For further information please contact Ramona DuBose either by phone at 919-966-7467 or by e-mail at