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J Clin Periodontol. 1992 Nov;19(10):802-9.

The effect of supragingival plaque control on the subgingival microbiota in subjects with periodontal disease.

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Department of Oral Microbiology, Faculty of Odontology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.


The present investigation was performed to study the effect on the subgingival microbiota, of a plaque control program which included meticulous oral hygiene instruction, supragingival scaling and professional monitoring during a 2 year period. 300 subjects were examined for periodontal disease and monitored for 2 years without treatment. After the 2 year examination, 80 subjects were invited to participate in a treatment program intended to improve the standard of their self-performed plaque control. 40 of the invitees had a gingivitis and only minor attachment loss, while 40 subjects had moderate signs of periodontitis. 62 subjects volunteered for this treatment. 23 of the volunteers (Group AB) had several sites with deep pockets (> 4 mm). 39 of the volunteers had gingivitis but shallow pockets only (Group C). Group AB contributed 31 shallow pocket sites (A-sites) and 40 deep pocket sites (B-sites), while Group C contributed 63 shallow sites (C-sites). After the clinical examination, samples of the subgingival microbiota were harvested from the 134 A, B and C sites. The 62 subjects were enrolled in a supervised oral hygiene program. Supragingival scaling was carried out. Oral hygiene instruction was provided and repeated on an individual need basis so that all subjects reached and maintained a supragingival plaque score which was < 20%. 24 months after the year 2 examination, the 62 subjects were examined again using both clinical and microbiological examination procedures. The findings demonstrated that carefully performed supragingival plaque control changed the quantity and the composition of the supragingival microbiota.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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