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Tex Dent J. 2012 Aug;129(8):751-61.

Do elderly edentulous patients with a history of periodontitis harbor periodontal pathogens?

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  • 1University of Taubaté, São Paulo, Brazil.



The presence of periodontal pathogens in the oral cavity may impact implant survival. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter rectus, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Prevotella intermedia, Tannerella forsythia, Treponema denticola, Eikenella corrodens, and Parvimonas micra in a specific elderly population with a history of periodontitis who have never worn dentures.


Thirty dentate subjects (mean age 61.7 +/- 7.05 years) and 30 edentulous subjects (mean age 65.8 +/- 8.05 years) were included in this cross-sectional study. Microbiological samples of cheek mucosa and the dorsum of the tongue were taken from all subjects. In addition, sulcus samples were taken from the dentate group. All samples were analysed using a bacterial DNA-specific polymerase chain reaction.


All the pathogens studied were detected in dentate and edentulous subjects. When cheek and tongue samples were combined, C. rectus, A. actinomycetemcomitans and E. corrodens presented with a similar prevalence in both groups, whereas the other species were more prevalent specifically in the dentate group (P<0.05). In dentate subjects, P. intermedia and T. denticola were present in higher frequencies in the cheek mucosa (26.67% and 66.67%, respectively), whereas P. gingivalis and T. forsythia were more prevalent in the tongue samples (26.67% and 56.67%, respectively).


Periodontal pathogens may persist in the oral cavity of edentulous subjects who have had periodontal disease, even 1 year after the extraction of all teeth and in the absence of other hard surfaces in the mouth.

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