Topical antimicrobial therapy and diagnosis of subgingival bacteria in the management of inflammatory periodontal disease

J Clin Periodontol. 1986 Nov;13(10):975-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051x.1986.tb01436.x.


Bacterial specificity in human periodontal diseases suggests the possibility of diagnosing and treating periodontitis as specific infections and using microbiological diagnostic means to evaluate the efficacy of periodontal therapy. In a series of clinical trials, the usefulness of topical antimicrobial agents in combination with surgical and non-surgical conventional periodontal therapy were tested. The healing result was estimated by monitoring probing attachment levels (PAL). The usefulness of clinical and microbiological parameters to evaluate post-treatment healing result was tested. 9 of the patients exhibiting sites with recurrent periodontal disease were then evaluated for clinical and microbiological parameters to define accurate means to differentiate between active and inactive periodontal disease. The results showed that the frequency of periodontal lesions with significant loss of PAL after treatment was less in patients treated with antimicrobial agent. Specific microbiological parameters showed stronger correlation than clinical parameters with gain and/or loss of PAL post-treatment. Thus Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Bacteroides gingivalis occurred in periodontal lesions with progressing disease after treatment, but were rarely detected in samples from pockets of the same depths which did not exhibit further loss of PAL over a study period of 1 year. This study points to the usefulness of topical antimicrobial agent as an adjunct to mechanical subgingival debridement in the treatment of periodontitis in adults. The results also indicate the utility of diagnostic microbiology in the assessment of periodontal disease activity post-treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Acetrizoic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Actinobacillus / isolation & purification
  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Bacteroides / isolation & purification
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology*
  • Dental Plaque / pathology
  • Gingival Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontal Pocket / pathology
  • Periodontitis / drug therapy*
  • Periodontitis / microbiology
  • Periodontitis / therapy
  • Random Allocation


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Acetrizoic Acid