Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


The Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health

First Advisor

Anwar Merchant


The purpose of this study is to add more research and evidence to the mechanisms surrounding periodontal disease, periodontal microorganisms, and physical activity. The main objective of this study is to evaluate and explore the association between physical activity and serum IgG antibodies, which are grouped into four distinct clusters, formed from species specific 19 periodontal antibody titers. This cross sectional study divided physical activity into three categories: adequately physically active, inadequately physically active, and inactive based on MET scores. Certain models were adjusted for confounders including age, sex, race/ethnicity, income-to-poverty ratio, years of formal education, smoking, alcohol intake, BMI, waist circumference, diet, number of missing teeth, diabetes status, and frequency of visits to the dentist. The 5,611 participants came from NHANES III. Our findings show that in unadjusted and minimally adjusted models, physical activity is significantly, positively associated with the antibodies in the Orange- Blue cluster (a cluster associated with healthy periodontal states). However, after more complex adjustment, physical is not significantly associated with antibodies to oral microorganisms. These findings indicate that physical activity may improve the periodontal microbiota. However, the mechanisms surrounding periodontal microorganisms, physical activity, and periodontal disease are very complex and require further serious and complex research.


© 2016, A. Paige Anderson

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