Objectives: Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an antioxidant enzyme that acts against superoxide, an oxygen radical, released in inflammatory pathways and causes connective tissue breakdown. In this study, SOD activities in gingiva and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) from patients with chronic periodontitis (CP) and periodontally healthy controls were compared.
Material and methods: Twenty-six CP patients and 18 controls were studied. In patients, teeth with moderate-to-severe periodontal breakdown and > or =5 mm pockets that required full-thickness flap surgery in the right or left maxillary quadrant, and in controls, teeth scheduled for extraction for orthodontic reasons were studied. After the clinical measurements (probing depth, clinical attachment level, gingival index, gingival bleeding index, plaque index), GCF samples were collected. Tissue samples were harvested from the same teeth, during flap operation in patients and immediately after tooth extraction in controls. SOD activities were spectrophotometrically assayed. The results were statistically analysed.
Results: Gingival SOD activity was significantly higher in the CP group than in controls (p<0.05). No significant difference was found in GCF SOD activity between the groups (p>0.05). Correlations between gingival and GCF SOD activities were not statistically significant in CP and control groups (p>0.05).
Conclusion: In CP, SOD activity seems to increase in gingiva, probably as a result of a higher need for SOD activity and protection in gingiva in CP than in periodontal health, while not significantly changing in GCF, suggesting a weak SOD activity in GCF in periodontal disease state. The weak correlation between gingival and GCF SOD activities suggests distinct actions of these SODs.