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Heterogeneity of systemic inflammatory responses to periodontal therapy


  • Conflict of interest and source of funding
    This study was supported by NIH grant DE015649 (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MA, USA) and gift from Colgate-Palmolive, NJ, USA to Dr. Papapanou.
    Dr. Demmer was supported by NIH grant K99 DE-018739. Dr. Kebschull was partly supported by a stipend from Neue Gruppe Wissenschaftsstiftung, Wangen/Allgäu, Germany, and the 2008 IADR/Philips Oral Healthcare Young Investigator Research Grant.
    The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interests.

Panos N. Papapanou
Division of Periodontics
Section of Oral and Diagnostic Sciences
Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
630 W 168th Street
PH 7 E 110
New York, NY 10032


Aims: We investigated the effect of comprehensive periodontal therapy on the levels of multiple systemic inflammatory biomarkers.

Material and Methods: Thirty patients with severe periodontitis received comprehensive periodontal therapy within a 6-week period. Blood samples were obtained at: 1-week pre-therapy (T1), therapy initiation (T2), treatment completion (T3), and 4 weeks thereafter (T4). We assessed the plasma concentrations of 19 biomarkers using multiplex assays, and serum IgG antibodies to periodontal bacteria using checkerboard immunoblotting. At T2 and T4, dental plaque samples were analysed using checkerboard hybridizations.

Results: At T3, PAI-1, sE-selectin, sVCAM-1, MMP-9, myeloperoxidase, and a composite summary inflammatory score (SIS) were significantly reduced. However, only sE-selectin, sICAM, and serum amyloid P sustained a reduction at T4. Responses were highly variable: analyses of SIS slopes between baseline and T4 showed that approximately 1/3 and 1/4 of the patients experienced a marked reduction and a pronounced increase in systemic inflammation, respectively, while the remainder were seemingly unchanged. Changes in inflammatory markers correlated poorly with clinical, microbiological and serological markers of periodontitis.

Conclusions: Periodontal therapy resulted in an overall reduction of systemic inflammation, but the responses were inconsistent across subjects and largely not sustainable. The determinants of this substantial heterogeneity need to be explored further.

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