Tissues surrounding dental implants and teeth develop clinical inflammation in response to microbial stimuli. However, the literature suggests that differences exist in the microbial insult and inflammatory responses leading to gingivitis and peri-implant mucositis. In this pilot study, the authors use for the first time a systems biology approach to comprehensively evaluate clinical parameters, selected inflammatory markers, and the microbiome of subject-matched tooth and implant sites during native inflammation and in response to experimental plaque accumulation. Fifteen subjects with 2 posterior implants and corresponding contralateral teeth were examined at enrollment; at day 0, after reinstitution of gingival/mucosal health; at days 7, 14, and 21, during stent-mediated oral hygiene (OH) abstention; and at day 42, after resumption of OH. The subgingival microbiome was evaluated via 16S rRNA gene sequencing and 8 selected inflammatory markers measured in crevicular fluid. Comparison of teeth and implants via general linear models based on orthogonal polynomials showed similar responses in clinical parameters, inflammatory mediators, and proportions of individual microbial taxa during OH abstention. Implants, however, accumulated less plaque and underwent more heterogeneous shifts in microbiome structure. A multilevel, within-group, sparse partial least squares analysis of covariation of microbial, inflammatory, and clinical parameters throughout all study visits found inflammation around teeth and implants positively correlated with IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta and with the proportions of Selenomonas, Prevotella, and 5 species-level phylotypes. Gingivitis, however, showed a stronger positive correlation with lactoferrin and IL-1ra and a stronger negative correlation with Rothia. Peri-implant mucositis, on the contrary, correlated positively with certain microbial taxa not associated with gingivitis by a previous study or the current one. In summary, differences existed between implants and tooth sites in microbiome evolution during OH abstention and in the correlation of specific inflammatory mediators and microbial taxa with clinical inflammation. Common biological features, however, were also identified for gingivitis and mucositis.
Keywords: biomarkers; cytokines; dental implants; gingiva; inflammation; microbiota.