López R, Dahlén G, Baelum V. Subgingival microbial consortia and the clinical features of periodontitis in adolescents.
This study aimed to investigate the association between microbial consortia and the clinical features of periodontitis using a multilevel modeling approach. A total of 958 sites in 87 adolescents with periodontitis (cases) and 73 controls were microbiologically sampled and clinically examined. Associations between each of the clinical parameters clinical attachment, probing depth, supragingival plaque, calculus, bleeding on probing, and each of 18 bacterial species; and between the same clinical parameters and each of two microbial consortia identified, were investigated using mixed-effects regression modeling. Higher counts of Tannerella forsythia, Campylobacter rectus, and Porphyromonas gingivalis were all statistically significantly associated with higher values of clinical attachment level, probing depth, and bleeding on probing in the sampled site, when both case status and between-subject variance were accounted for. Higher counts for the consortium comprising the putative periodontopathogens were statistically significantly associated in a dose–response manner with both higher clinical attachment levels and with increased pocket depth. The counts for the consortium predominantly comprising the early-colonizer species were statistically significantly negatively associated with the presence of supragingival calculus, but positively associated with the presence of supragingival plaque. The study demonstrates a relationship between the counts of putative periodontopathogens and clinical attachment levels and probing pocket depths, even for low levels of these clinical parameters.