Tingxi Wu is the director of orthodontic and craniofacial development research at the Forsyth Institute. Her background is in both basic and clinical science. In her role at Forsyth, Wu facilitates the synergy between basic dental science and clinical work, resulting in new collaborations and advances in oral health and dental research at the institute.
Wu’s research has focused on managing major cariogenic pathogens known as Streptococcus mutans, which are the microbes associated with dental caries. For her PhD training, Wu examined microbial diseases, including denture-related mucosal tissue inflammation (denture stomatitis) and malodor.
Since starting her orthodontic residency program in 2014, Wu has focused her research on orthodontic induced plaque formation and diseases. Her work has included the development of new ways to inhibit plaque formation during orthodontic treatment. This research led to the discovery of several chemical compounds that have strong inhibitory efforts against bracket-induced plaque formation.
As a dentist-scientist, Dr. Wu has devoted all her research efforts in dentistry to basic, clinical, and translational research. Her basic research program focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of inter-species interaction and signal transduction during microbial biofilm formation and its relationship with oral health and diseases.
Oral biofilms are structured microbial communities consisting of a mixture of bacteria and fungi. They are frequently found together in oral biofilms and are associated with multiple oral diseases. However, the study of their interactions and molecular mechanisms involved in polymicrobial oral diseases is still very limit. Therefore, Dr. Wu’s current research interest is in studying cross-kingdom interactions between fungi and oral bacteria and their association with oral diseases.
In addition to her basic research, Dr. Wu has been conducting clinical and translational research to investigate dental-artificial materials associated with oral microbial pathogenesis and developing novel tools to manage these dental diseases. There are millions of orthodontic cases at any given time. It is well known that orthodontic treatment may lead to increases in plaque retention which will cause several microbial associated negative consequences, such as decalcification of enamel surfaces (white spot lesions), caries, as well as gingival inflammation. The high prevalence of these sequelae in orthodontic treatment has been attracting increased attention in the field. So far, there is a still lack of effective tools to manage these complications. Dr. Wu has been studying the mechanisms of orthodontic associated microbial complications and developing tools managing for these complications.
As the director of orthodontic and craniofacial development research at Forsyth, Dr. Wu’s role is to anchor the ForsythKids 21st Century (21C) Craniofacial Oral Health Management Program. ForsythKids 21C is an integrated, interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art system for ensuring the healthy development of the child in intensive partnership with the family. By combining a comprehensive team of primary and specialty health professionals and the most advanced dental technology available, ForsythKids 21C aims to pioneer an approach to the first cavity-free generation in the world.
Meanwhile, Dr. Wu also practices at Forsyth Faculty Associates to provide the best care to orthodontic patients and manage their malocclusion and craniofacial development by utilizing the most advanced technology in the field. Dr. Wu’s clinical expertise includes craniofacial growth-modification, children and adult orthodontics, orthodontics for orthognathic surgery, and management of complications in orthodontic treatment.
Areas of Research Expertise
West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, DDS, 2013, Dentistry
School of Dentistry, University of California, Los Angeles, PhD, 2017, Oral Biology
School of Dentistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Certificate, 2017, Orthodontics