Alcohol Consumption and Periodontitis: Quantification of Periodontal Pathogens and Cytokines

J Periodontol. 2015 Sep;86(9):1058-68. doi: 10.1902/jop.2015.150087. Epub 2015 Jun 11.


Background: There are few studies on periodontal status related to microbiologic and immunologic profiles among individuals not or occasionally using alcohol and those with alcohol dependence. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of alcohol consumption on the levels of subgingival periodontal pathogens and proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin [IL]-1β and tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α) in the gingival fluid among individuals with and without periodontitis.

Methods: This observational analytic study includes 88 volunteers allocated in four groups (n = 22): individuals with alcohol dependence and periodontitis (ADP), individuals with alcohol dependence and without periodontitis (ADNP), individuals not or occasionally using alcohol with periodontitis (NAP), and individuals not or occasionally using alcohol without periodontitis (NANP). Levels of Porphyromonas gingivalis, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Prevotella intermedia, Eikenella corrodens, and Fusobacterium nucleatum were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction on the basis of the subgingival biofilm, and IL-1β and TNF-α were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in gingival fluid samples.

Results: Individuals with alcohol dependence showed worse periodontal status and higher levels of P. intermedia, E. corrodens, F. nucleatum, and IL-1β than non-users. No significant correlations between TNF-α and bacterial levels were observed. However, in the ADP group, higher levels of E. corrodens were correlated with higher levels of IL-1β.

Conclusion: A negative influence of alcohol consumption was observed on clinical and microbiologic periodontal parameters, as well as a slight influence on immunologic parameters, signaling the need for additional studies.

Keywords: Alcoholism; bacteria; cytokines; periodontitis; real-time polymerase chain reaction; risk factors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / isolation & purification
  • Alcohol Drinking* / immunology
  • Alcoholism / immunology
  • Alcoholism / microbiology
  • Bacterial Load
  • Biofilms
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eikenella corrodens / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum / isolation & purification
  • Gingival Crevicular Fluid / immunology
  • Gingival Crevicular Fluid / microbiology*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1beta / analysis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontitis / immunology
  • Periodontitis / microbiology*
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / isolation & purification
  • Prevotella intermedia / isolation & purification
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis*


  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha