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J Clin Periodontol. 2017 Jul;44(7):708-716. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12752. Epub 2017 Jun 23.

Clinical and microbiological effects of the adjunctive use of probiotics in the treatment of gingivitis: A randomized controlled clinical trial.

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Periodontology - Faculty of Odontology, University Complutense, Madrid, Spain.
ETEP (Etiology and Therapy of Periodontal Diseases) Research Group, University Complutense, Madrid, Spain.



To evaluate the efficacy of a probiotic combination in the treatment of gingivitis and to assess its impact on the subgingival microbiota.


A placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted in gingivitis subjects during 6 weeks. Test treatment consisted of the administration of two oral tablets per day containing the probiotic strains Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis and Pediococcus acidilactici; the control group received the same tablets but without live bacteria. The main outcome variable was the changes in gingival index (GI). Subgingival samples were collected and analysed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for five putative periodontal pathogens. Outcome variables were compared between and within groups, and multiple regression analysis was performed.


A total of 59 patients (29 tests, 30 placebos) were included in the analysis. Both treatment groups experienced a statistically significant improvement in mean GI (p < .0001), but no differences between treatment groups were found for any clinical index. A significantly higher reduction in the number of sites with higher GI scores (GI = 3 at baseline) was observed in the test group. In subgingival samples, a significant reduction in T. forsythia was significant only in the test group (p < .008).


The use of probiotic tablets containing L. plantarum, L. brevis and P. acidilactici did not lead to significant changes in mean GI; although a significant reduction occurred in the number of sites with severe inflammation. Furthermore, the adjunctive use of this probiotic promoted a significant microbiological impact.


Lactobacillus spp.; gingival index; gingivitis; probiotics; subgingival microbiota

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