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VOLUME 11 , ISSUE 1 ( January, 2010 ) > List of Articles


Periodontal Bacterial Load: A Proposed New Epidemiological Method for Periodontal Disease Assessment

Magda Feres, Luciene Cristina de Figueiredo, Mario Vianna Vettore, Anna Thereza Thomé Leão, Maria do Carmo Leal, Aubrey Sheiham

Citation Information : Feres M, de Figueiredo LC, Vettore MV, Leão AT, Leal MD, Sheiham A. Periodontal Bacterial Load: A Proposed New Epidemiological Method for Periodontal Disease Assessment. J Contemp Dent Pract 2010; 11 (1):49-56.

DOI: 10.5005/jcdp-11-1-49

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Published Online: 01-01-2010

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2010; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.



The purpose of this study was to identify a periodontal clinical measure that correlates with red complex bacteria usually associated with periodontal disease.

Methods and Materials

Periodontal clinical parameters were recorded in 116 postpartum women at six sites per tooth for all teeth excluding third molars. Two subgingival plaque samples per subject were collected and analyzed for 39 bacterial species using the Checkerboard DNADNA hybridization technique. Periodontal Bacterial Load (PBL) was calculated as the sum of all pocket depth measurements of 4 mm at sites with a Clinical Attachment Level (CAL) of 4 mm. The association of clinical and bacterial scores was analyzed using the Spearman correlation coefficient and the Kruskal-Wallis test.


The PBL was correlated with microorganisms from the red complex that included Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia, and Treponema denticola, individually or grouped (p<0.05). The PBL was not associated with periodontally beneficial species from the yellow, green, purple, and blue complexes (p>0.05). The proportions and mean counts of the red complex were increased according to the quartile groups of distribution of the PBL.


PBL appears to be a reliable measure of periodontal status in postpartum women.

Clinical Significance

PBL avoids bias in the assessment of periodontal status in studies of periodontal disease.


Vettore MV, Leão ATT, Leal MC, Feres M, Figueiredo LC, Sheiham A. Periodontal Bacterial Load: A Proposed New Epidemiological Method for Periodontal Disease Assessment. J Contemp Dent Pract [Internet]. 2010 Jan; 11(1):049-056. Available from: http://www.thejcdp. com/journal/view/volume11-issue1-vettore.

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