Clinical efficacy of probiotics as an adjunctive therapy to non-surgical periodontal treatment of chronic periodontitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Clin Periodontol. 2016 Jun;43(6):520-30. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12545. Epub 2016 May 7.


Focused question: What is the clinical influence of probiotics as an adjunctive therapy of scaling and root planing (SRP) when compared with SRP alone or in combination with placebo in the treatment of chronic periodontitis (CP).

Methods: Electronic databases were searched up to July 2015. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing SRP + probiotic versusSRP were included. PPD reduction and CAL gain were selected as primary outcome variables.

Results: Independent screening resulted in four eligible publications for the systematic review and three were included in the meta-analysis. Meta-analysis showed a statistically significant CAL gain (-0.42 mm, p = 0.002) and bleeding on probing (BOP) reduction (-14.66, p = 0.003) for SRP + probiotic treatment versusSRP at short-term. Only a tendency (p = 0.06) has been observed in terms of overall PPD reduction, whereas results were significant when stratified for moderate (-0.18, p = 0.001) and deep pockets (-0.67, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Within the limitations of this study, the findings of this meta-analysis seem to support the adjunctive use of L. reuteri to SRP in CP treatment at short-term, especially in deep pockets. Heterogeneity and limited available data may reduce the impact of these conclusions. Future long-term RCTs evaluating the clinical efficacy of adjunctive probiotics to SRP are needed.

Keywords: chronic periodontitis; non-surgical treatment; periodontal treatment outcomes; probiotics.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Periodontitis
  • Dental Scaling
  • Humans
  • Periodontal Index
  • Probiotics*
  • Root Planing
  • Treatment Outcome