Systemic use of metronidazole in the treatment of chronic periodontitis: a pilot study using clinical, microbiological, and enzymatic evaluation

Braz Oral Res. 2004 Apr-Jun;18(2):121-7. doi: 10.1590/s1806-83242004000200006. Epub 2004 Aug 5.


The aim of the present parallel, double-blind investigation was to evaluate the effect of using systemic metronidazole alone or associated to scaling and root planing on adult chronic periodontal disease, monitored at baseline, 30, 60 and 90 days. Twelve subjects were divided into three groups: the first group (Group I - 22 sites) was submitted to scaling and root planing (SRP) alone; the second group (Group II - 30 sites) received SRP and 250 mg of metronidazole (3 times a day for 10 days), and the third group (Group III - 31 sites) was treated with metronidazole alone. The clinical parameters evaluated were probing depth (PD), clinical attachment level (CAL), plaque index (PlI), gingival index (GI) and bleeding upon probing (BP). Microbiological (BANA test) and enzymatic (Pocket Watch) tests were also performed. All three proposed treatments produced significant improvements in clinical conditions of subjects, from baseline, 30, 60 and 90-day period, except for clinical attachment level. The results obtained by microbiological and enzymatic tests did not show statistical differences among the groups for the 90-day period (r = 0.7924 and r = 0.7757, respectively). In relation to clinical parameters, statistical differences among groups were observed only for the gingival index (p = 0.0261) between Groups I and II, and probing depth (p = 0.0124) between Group I and the others. We conclude that the use of systemic metronidazole did not produce additional effects on the microbiological conditions of these patients with chronic periodontal disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Clinical Enzyme Tests
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metronidazole / therapeutic use*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Periodontitis / diagnosis
  • Periodontitis / drug therapy*
  • Periodontitis / microbiology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Root Planing*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Metronidazole