LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A University of Louisville researcher who studies a dental disease that affects a large population of Americans has earned a nearly $2 million grant to further his work.

Dr. Huizhi Wang earned the five-year grant for the study from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Periodontal disease affects half of U.S. adults over the age of 30. It's a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth.

The university says in the long term, Wang's work could pave the way for the development of novel anti-inflammatory agents to reduce or prevent gum tissue destruction and other general chronic inflammatory disorders.