A longitudinal study from prepuberty to puberty of gingivitis. Correlation between the occurrence of Prevotella intermedia and sex hormones

J Clin Periodontol. 1994 Nov;21(10):658-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051x.1994.tb00783.x.


A longitudinal study of 24 subjects progressing normally from prepuberty to puberty was undertaken to evaluate the effects of sex hormone levels on clinical and microbiologic parameters and on serum antibodies. During elementary school, at the beginning of the longitudinal monitoring, 2 groups, 12 subjects with gingivitis and 12 gingivitis-free subjects, were selected and observed through puberty. Bone ages and self-assessment of secondary sex characteristics were used to confirm puberty. A statistically significant increase in the proportions of Prevotella intermedia including Prevotella nigrescens and serum antibody levels against P. intermedia was seen in gingivitis group throughout the longitudinal study. Serum levels of testosterone in boys and estradiol and progesterone in girls was positively correlated with levels of P. intermedia and P. nigrescens. In puberty, a slight but significant increase in GI scores over prepuberty has been shown; however, there was no significant change in PlI from prepuberty to puberty. Our study confirmed that there was a statistically significant increase in gingival inflammation and in the proportion of P. intermedia and P. nigrescens in puberty relative to the baseline value, except in the gingivitis-free male group. Our findings suggest that these increases are correlated with elevation in systemic levels of the sex hormones.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Determination by Skeleton
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Child
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Female
  • Gingivitis / microbiology*
  • Gingivitis / physiopathology*
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Periodontal Index
  • Prevotella / immunology
  • Prevotella / isolation & purification
  • Prevotella intermedia / immunology
  • Prevotella intermedia / isolation & purification*
  • Progesterone / blood
  • Puberty / physiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Maturation / physiology
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Testosterone
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol