Background, aims: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the presence of bacterial antigens for Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg), Prevotella intermedia (Pi), and Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans (Aa) in subgingival plaque of periodontitis patients after periodontal treatment was associated with progressive alveolar bone loss.
Method: 39 (39) subjects in good general health previously diagnosed with adult periodontitis within the last 2 years, and still presenting with probing depth >5 mm in 2 to 6 teeth, were studied. All subjects were treated with scaling and root planing. Half of the subjects were randomly assigned to receive adjunctive systemic doxycycline (200 mg the 1st day, then 100 mg per day for 21 days). Subgingival plaque samples were taken at baseline, 1, 3 and 6 months after therapy. A modified ELISA test (Evalusite, Periodontal Test Kit, Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, NY) was used to test for plaque antigens associated with P. gingivalis, P. intermedia and A. actinomycetemcomitans. Progressive alveolar bone loss was determined using digital subtraction radiography with standardized radiographs taken at baseline and 6 months after treatment.
Results: The presence of P. gingivalis in plaque after treatment was significantly associated with progressive bone loss (positive predictive value 84%, negative predictive value 85%, odds ratio 31.9, p<0.0001). In contrast, the presence of P. intermedia in plaque after treatment was not indicative of progressive loss (positive predictive value 39%, negative predictive value 82%). Too few sites had evidence of A. actinomycetemcomitans to be amenable to statistical analysis. No significant difference in bone loss was attributable to the systemic antibiotic therapy.
Conclusion: These data indicated that, in this population, the presence of P. gingivalis in plaque after treatment might be indicative of progressive alveolar bone loss.