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J Clin Periodontol. 2000 Sep;27(9):665-74.

A prospective longitudinal study on periodontal bone height changes in a Swedish population.

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Department of Periodontology, The Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education, Jönköping, Sweden.



This investigation was performed to assess longitudinal changes in periodontal bone height in an adult population over a period of 17 years.


In 1973, a random sample of 1000 individuals aged 3-70 years in the city of Jönköping, Sweden, was examined clinically and radiographically to assess dental status and treatment needs. Out of the 574 dentate individuals 15-60 years, 433 accepted the invitation and were re-examined in 1989-91, 4 were edentulous and the study therefore finally included 429 dentate individuals. The examination included full mouth plaque and gingivitis scores and bone height measurements on full mouth intra-oral radiographs. All age groups except the youngest had very good oral hygiene with 50% or more having plaque and gingivitis scores below 20%.


From the age of 20, there was a general pattern of bone height reduction over time corresponding to an annual loss of around 0.1 mm. From the age of 30 years, about 80% of the population had one or more sites with bone loss of 10% or more. Very few individuals, about 5%, exhibited an individual mean bone loss of 2 mm or more. 17% had > or =6 such sites indicating destructive periodontal disease. These individuals and sites could not be identified in advance based only on previous disease experience.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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