Periodontal therapy in young adults with severe generalized periodontitis

J Periodontol. 1994 Mar;65(3):268-73. doi: 10.1902/jop.1994.65.3.268.


This study evaluated the effect of periodontal therapy on clinical and microbiological parameters in 23 subjects with severe generalized early onset periodontitis. Therapy consisted of oral hygiene instruction and root planing and scaling, followed 3 months later by open flap debridement. Subjects were monitored for both clinical measures and levels of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromas gingivalis as identified by indirect immunofluoresence. Clinical and microbiological evaluations were done at the start of the study, 3 months after the completion of root planing and scaling and 3 months after open flap debridement. Mean probing depth was reduced by both root planing and scaling and open flap debridement and the level of reduction demonstrated by both phases of therapy was similar to reductions found in studies that utilized subjects with chronic adult periodontitis. In contrast, reductions in attachment level due to the two phases of therapy, demonstrated in previous studies of subjects with adult periodontitis were not found in the young adult subjects with severe periodontal disease utilized in this study. Levels of A. actinomycetemcomitans were not significantly affected by root planing and scaling, but were reduced by open flap debridement. P. gingivalis was virtually eliminated by root planing and scaling, demonstrating that the two bacterial types respond differently to periodontal therapy. These changes in microbiological parameters were similar to those found in studies of localized juvenile periodontitis subjects, where surgery or antibiotics have been shown to be necessary to reduce levels of A. actinomycetemcomitans.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / isolation & purification
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dental Scaling
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Male
  • Periodontitis / microbiology*
  • Periodontitis / therapy*
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / isolation & purification
  • Root Planing
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Subgingival Curettage