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Endod Dent Traumatol. 2000 Dec;16(6):269-75.

Comparison of profiles of key periodontal pathogens in periodontium and endodontium.

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Department of Operative Dentistry and Periodontology, University of Leipzig, Germany.


Despite the established anatomical relationship between the periodontal and pulpal tissues, bacterial migration between endodontium and periodontium is still under discussion. The objective of this study was an investigation of profiles of periodontal pathogens in pulpal and periodontal diseases affecting the same tooth by means of 16S rRNA gene directed polymerase chain reaction (PCR). 31 intact teeth with both pulp and marginal infections were investigated. The diagnosis was based on clinical and radiological examination. Samples were taken from the gingival sulcus or periodontal pocket, respectively, with sterile paper points before trepanation of the teeth. After trepanation sterile paper points and Hedstroem files were used for taking samples from the root canal. Specific PCR methods were used to detect the presence of the following pathogens: Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Bacteroides forsythus, Eikenella corrodens, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia and Treponema denticola. In addition, quantitative competitive PCR was used to determine the total bacterial count of the samples. The investigated pathogens were proven to be present in the endondontium in all disease categories. Particularly in endodontic samples of "chronic apical periodontitis" and "chronic adult periodontitis" profiles of the periodontal pathogens were found. The results confirmed that periodontal pathogens often accompany endodontic infections and supported the idea that the periodontic-endodontic interrelationships should be considered as critical pathways which might contribute to refractory courses of endodontic or periodontal diseases.

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