Epigenetic changes are associated with various inflammatory diseases and are influenced by environmental factors. Recent data support an association between titanium dissolution products and peri-implantitis. We hypothesize that site-specific changes in gene methylation, a form of epigenetic regulation, around dental implants may be influenced by local environmental factors, such as titanium dissolution particles.
Peri-implantitis cases exhibited increased levels of methylated DNA cytosine (5mC) as compared to controls, suggesting that peri-implantitis is associated with epigenetic alterations in the peri-implant tissues. In addition, the finding that titanium concentrations were associated with global methylation levels independent of peri-implantitis status suggests that methylation may be affected by titanium dissolution products. Collectively, these results support further investigations to determine if these associations are causal or ecological in nature.