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Concept: Periodontitis


Periodontitis is common in the elderly and may become more common in Alzheimer’s disease because of a reduced ability to take care of oral hygiene as the disease progresses. Elevated antibodies to periodontal bacteria are associated with an increased systemic pro-inflammatory state. Elsewhere raised serum pro-inflammatory cytokines have been associated with an increased rate of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. We hypothesized that periodontitis would be associated with increased dementia severity and a more rapid cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. We aimed to determine if periodontitis in Alzheimer’s disease is associated with both increased dementia severity and cognitive decline, and an increased systemic pro inflammatory state. In a six month observational cohort study 60 community dwelling participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease were cognitively assessed and a blood sample taken for systemic inflammatory markers. Dental health was assessed by a dental hygienist, blind to cognitive outcomes. All assessments were repeated at six months. The presence of periodontitis at baseline was not related to baseline cognitive state but was associated with a six fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline as assessed by the ADAS-cog over a six month follow up period. Periodontitis at baseline was associated with a relative increase in the pro-inflammatory state over the six month follow up period. Our data showed that periodontitis is associated with an increase in cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s Disease, independent to baseline cognitive state, which may be mediated through effects on systemic inflammation.

Concepts: Periodontitis, Gingiva, Dental hygienist, Alzheimer's disease, Cohort study, Cognition, Periodontal disease, Inflammation


BACKGROUND: There are scarce evidences that evaluated the impact of periodontal disease on oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) taking marginal gingival alterations into consideration. Thus, this study aimed to verify the association between OHRQoL and gingival enlargement and gingival bleeding in subjects under fixed orthodontic treatment (FOT). METHODS: 330 participants under FOT for at least 6 months were examined by a single, calibrated examiner for periodontal variables. Socio-economic background, body mass index, time with orthodontic appliances, dental aesthetic index and use of dental floss were assessed by oral interviews. OHRQoL was evaluated using the oral health impact profile (OHIP-14) questionnaire. The assessment of associations used unadjusted and adjusted Poisson regression models. RESULTS: Higher impacts on the OHIP-14 overall were observed in subjects who presented higher levels of anterior gingival enlargement (RR 2.83; 95% CI 2.60-3.09), were non-whites (RR 1.29; 95% CI 1.15-1.45), had household income lower than five national minimum wages (RR 1.85; 95% CI 1.30-2.61), presented body mass index > 25 (RR 1.14; 95% CI 1.01-1.29), andshowed a dental aesthetic index > 30 (RR 1.32; 95% CI 1.20-1.46) . CONCLUSIONS: Anterior gingival enlargement seems to influence the OHRQoL in subjects receiving orthodontic treatment.

Concepts: Dental floss, Regression analysis, Gingiva, Periodontal disease, Periodontitis, Oral hygiene, Dentistry, Minimum wage


Plasminogen deficiency is a rare autosomal recessive disease, which is associated with aggressive periodontitis and gingival enlargement. Previously described treatments of plasminogen deficiency associated periodontitis have shown limited success. This is the first case report indicating a successful therapy approach consisting of a non-surgical supra- and subgingival debridement in combination with an adjunctive systemic antibiotic therapy and a strict supportive periodontal regimen over an observation period of 4 years.

Concepts: Success, Phage therapy, Periodontal disease, Gingiva, Antibiotic, Medicine, Periodontology, Periodontitis


Pregnancy is a period involving important metabolic changes that enable the maintenance of the mother’s health and development of the fetus. This study aimed to assess the relationship among periodontal disease, insulin resistance, salivary cortisol concentration and level of perceived stress in pregnant women. This was a cross-sectional study. The sample comprised 96 pregnant women between the fifth and seventh month of pregnancy registered at the Basic Health Units of the Unified Health System (SUS). The periodontal condition was assessed after obtainment free and informed consent from the participants. Participants were divided into three groups: control subjects with a healthy periodontal condition (CN; n=46), patients with gingivitis (GI; n=26), and patients with periodontitis (PI; n=24). Saliva and blood samples were collected for evaluation of salivary cortisol concentration, glycemia, insulinemia and Homeostasis Model Assessment-Insulin Resistance index. A validated survey for the assessment of perceived stress levels was also performed. PI group showed significantly higher (p<0.05) blood glucose levels (CN: 4.43±0.05; GI: 4.46±0.04; PI: 4.68±0.08), insulinemy (CN: 6.93±0.45; GI: 8.87±0.79; PI: 12.77±1.30), insulin resistance (CN: 1.40±0.10; GI: 1.81±0.18; PI: 2.66±0.29) compared with the CN and GI groups. The levels of perceived stress were higher (p<0.05) in PI and GI groups when compared to CN group (CN: 20.5±1.26; GI: 25.8±1.95; PI: 26.6±1.36). There was no significant difference in the concentration of salivary cortisol between the groups (CN: 11.13±0.58; GI: 11.96±0.74; PI: 11.47±0.74). It was concluded that there is a relationship between higher levels of perceived stress, insulin resistance and the occurrence of periodontal disease during pregnancy. This study emphasizes the importance of preventing periodontitis in order to avoid insulin resistance and stress during pregnancy since these can cause systemic complications for the mother and the fetus.

Concepts: Periodontal disease, Abortion, Embryo, Uterus, Fetus, Periodontitis, Pregnancy, Blood sugar


Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are proteins that stimulate the proliferation and migration of endothelial cells. These proteins have been described in many pathologic and inflammatory conditions, but their involvement in the development of periodontitis has not been thoroughly investigated. This study compared the immunohistochemical expression of these proteins, involved in angiogenesis and hypoxia, by imunnostained inflammatory and endothelial cells in periodontal disease and healthy gingival tissues. Gingival tissue samples were divided as follows: 30 samples with chronic periodontitis, 30 with chronic gingivitis, and 30 of healthy gingiva. Results were analyzed statistically by the Kruskal-Wallis, Mann-Whitney and Spearman correlation tests (p=0.01). Inflammatory and endothelial cells were found to express these proteins. Periodontitis showed median percentage of HIF-1α-positive cells of 39.6%, 22.0% in cases of gingivitis and 0.9% in the healthy gingiva group (p=0.001). For VEGF, median percentage of immunopositive cells was 68.7% for periodontitis, 66.1% in cases for gingivitis, and 19.2% for healthy gingival specimens (p<0.001). Significant correlation between VEGF and HIF-1α was also observed in healthy gingiva (p<0.001).The increased expression of HIF-1αα and VEGF in periodontitis, compared to gingivitis and healthy gingiva, suggests possible activation of the HIF-1α pathway in advanced periodontal disease. The correlation between HIF-1α and VEGF expression in healthy gingiva suggests a physiological function for these proteins in conditions of homeostasis. In periodontal disease, HIF-1 and VEGF expression may be regulated by other factors, in addition to hypoxia, such as bacterial endotoxins and inflammatory cytokines.

Concepts: Oral hygiene, Gingival fibers, Angiogenesis, Periodontology, Gingivitis, Periodontal disease, Gingiva, Periodontitis


Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) type VIII (periodontitis type) is a distinct form of EDS characterized by periodontal disease leading to precocious dental loss and a spectrum of joint and skin manifestations. EDS type VIII is transmitted in an autosomal dominant pattern; however, the mutated gene has not been identified. There are insufficient data on the spectrum of clinical manifestations and natural history of the disorder, and only a limited number of patients and pedigrees with this condition have been reported. We present a four-generation EDS type VIII kindred and show that EDS VIII is clinically variable and although some cases lack the associated skin and joint manifestations, microscopic evidence of collagen disorganization is detectable.We further propose that the diagnosis of EDS type VIII should be considered in familial forms of periodontitis, even when the associated skin and joint manifestations are unconvincing for the diagnosis of a connective tissue disorder. This novel observation highlights the uncertainty of using connective tissue signs in clinical practice to diagnose EDS type VIII.

Concepts: Periodontitis, Gingiva, Periodontal disease, Bone, Marfan syndrome, Connective tissue, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Collagen


Background: The aim of this study is to evaluate proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) and serum of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and chronic periodontitis (CP) patients to assess whether cytokine profiles distinguish patients with RA and patients with CP while using healthy patients as background controls. Methods: A total of 49 patients, 17 patients with RA (three males and 14 females; mean age: 47.82 ± 10.74 years), 16 patients with CP (10 males and six females; mean age: 44.00 ± 7.00 years), and 16 controls (eight males and eight females; mean age: 28.06 ± 6.18 years) were enrolled. Patients with RA were under the supervision of rheumatologists; 15 of the patients with RA were being treated with methotrexate-sulfasalazine combined therapy, and two of the patients were being treated with leflunomid therapy. Periodontal parameters (plaque index, gingival index, probing depth, and clinical attachment level) were recorded. Interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-4, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were determined in GCF and IL-1β and IL-10 in serum by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: There were significant differences found among RA, CP, and control groups for all periodontal parameters (P <0.05). The total amount and concentration of GCF IL-1 β, IL-4, IL-10, and TNF-α were similar in RA and CP patients (P >0.05). Although the total amount and concentration of serum IL-10 was not significantly different among the groups (P >0.05), serum IL-1β was significantly lower in the RA group compared to CP patients and controls and was higher in GCF of the RA group compared to the CP group. Conclusions: Although clinical periodontal disease parameters indicated more severe periodontal disease in CP compared to RA patients, immunologic evaluation did not reveal consistent results regarding proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels. This might be a result of the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and rheumatoid agents by patients with RA.

Concepts: Anti-inflammatory, Gingiva, Inflammation, Antibody, Periodontology, Periodontal disease, Periodontitis, Rheumatoid arthritis


Emingil G, Han B, Özdemir G, Tervahartiala T, Vural C, Atilla G, Baylas H, Sorsa T. The effect of azithromycin, as an adjunct to nonsurgical periodontal treatment, on microbiological parameters and gingival crevicular fluid biomarkers in generalized aggressive periodontitis. J Periodont Res 2012; 47: 729-739. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S Background and Objective:  To study the effectiveness of azithromycin in combination with nonsurgical periodontal therapy on clinical and microbiological parameters, and on the MMP-8 and TIMP-1 levels in gingival crevicular fluid, over a 6-mo time-period in patients with generalized aggressive periodontitis. Material and Methods:  Thirty-two patients with generalized aggressive periodontitis were included in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-arm study. They were randomly assigned to azithromycin or placebo groups (500 mg once daily for 3 d). Probing depth, clinical attachment levels, presence of bleeding on probing and plaque were recorded. Gingival crevicular fluid samples were obtained from one single-rooted tooth, while microbiological samples were obtained from two single-rooted teeth, all with a probing depth of ≥ 6 mm. Microbiological parameters were analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR for Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Prevotella intermedia and total bacteria. Gingival crevicular fluid biomarkers were determined by immunofluorometric assay and ELISA. Results:  All clinical parameters improved, and microbiological parameters and gingival crevicular fluid MMP-8 levels significantly decreased, over the 6-mo period (p < 0.05); both groups demonstrated similar improvements. The azithromycin group presented a higher percentage of deep pockets resolved (probing depth reduction of ≥ 3 mm from baseline) compared with the placebo group at 1 mo (p < 0.05). Conclusion:  Adjunctive azithromycin therapy provides no additional benefit over nonsurgical periodontal treatment on clinical parameters, microbiological parameters and gingival crevicular fluid biochemical markers investigated in patients with generalized aggressive periodontitis.

Concepts: Aggressive periodontitis, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Dentistry, Placebo, Periodontitis, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Gingiva, Periodontology


Chronic periodontitis is a silent infectious disease prevalent worldwide and affects lifestyle-related diseases. Therefore, efficient screening of patients is essential for general health. This study was performed to evaluate prospectively the diagnostic utility of a blood IgG antibody titer test against periodontal pathogens. Oral examination was performed, and IgG titers against periodontal pathogens were measured by ELISA in 1,387 individuals. The cut-off value of the IgG titer was determined in receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, and changes in periodontal clinical parameters and IgG titers by periodontal treatment were evaluated. The relationships between IgG titers and severity of periodontitis were analyzed. The best cut-off value of IgG titer against Porphyromonas gingivalis for screening periodontitis was 1.682. Both clinical parameters and IgG titers decreased significantly under periodontal treatment. IgG titers of periodontitis patients were significantly higher than those of healthy controls, especially in those with sites of probing pocket depth over 4 mm. Multiplied cut-off values were useful to select patients with severe periodontitis. A blood IgG antibody titer test for Porphyromonas gingivalis is useful to screen hitherto chronic periodontitis patients ( number NCT01658475).

Concepts: Periodontitis, Medicine, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Epidemiology, Antibody, Infectious disease, Disease, Immune system


Recent advancements in the periodontal research field are consistent with a new model of pathogenesis according to which periodontitis is initiated by a synergistic and dysbiotic microbial community rather than by select ‘periopathogens’, such as the ‘red complex’. In this polymicrobial synergy, different members or specific gene combinations within the community fulfill distinct roles that converge to shape and stabilize a disease-provoking microbiota. One of the core requirements for a potentially pathogenic community to arise involves the capacity of certain species, termed ‘keystone pathogens’, to modulate the host response in ways that impair immune surveillance and tip the balance from homeostasis to dysbiosis. Keystone pathogens also elevate the virulence of the entire microbial community through interactive communication with accessory pathogens. Other important core functions for pathogenicity require the expression of diverse molecules (e.g. appropriate adhesins, cognate receptors, proteolytic enzymes and proinflammatory surface structures/ligands), which in combination act as community virulence factors to nutritionally sustain a heterotypic, compatible and proinflammatory microbial community that elicits a non-resolving and tissue-destructive host response. On the basis of the fundamental concepts underlying this model of periodontal pathogenesis, that is, polymicrobial synergy and dysbiosis, we term it the PSD model.

Concepts: Holism, Periodontitis, Campylobacter, Protease, Periodontal disease, Immune system, Bacteria, Microbiology