Journal of periodontology vol:70 issue:6 pages:632-45
BACKGROUND: A standard treatment strategy for periodontal infections often consists of 4 consecutive sessions of scaling and root planing (per quadrant, at 1- to 2-week intervals), without proper disinfection of the remaining intra-oral niches for periodontopathogens. This could theoretically lead to a reinfection of previously disinfected pockets by bacteria from an untreated region/niche. This study aimed to investigate, over an 8-month period, the clinical benefits of a one stage full-mouth disinfection in the control of severe periodontitis. METHODS: Sixteen patients with early-onset periodontitis and 24 patients with severe adult periodontitis were randomly assigned to test and control groups. The control group was scaled and root planed, per quadrant, at 2-week intervals and given standard oral hygiene instructions. A one stage full-mouth disinfection (test group) was sought by scaling and root planing the 4 quadrants within 24 hours in combination with the application of chlorhexidine to all intra-oral niches for periodontopathogens. Besides oral hygiene, the test group also rinsed twice daily with a 0.2% chlorhexidine solution and sprayed the tonsils with a 0.2% chlorhexidine spray, for 2 months. The plaque index, gingival index, probing depth, bleeding on probing, gingival recession, and clinical attachment level were recorded at baseline and at 1, 2, 4, and 8 months afterwards. RESULTS: The one stage full-mouth disinfection resulted, in comparison to the standard therapy, in a significant (P <0.001) additional probing depth reduction and gain in attachment up to 8 months. For initial pockets > or =7 mm, the "additional" probing depth reduction at the 8 month follow-up was 1.2 mm for single-rooted and 0.9 mm for multi-rooted teeth, with corresponding additional gains in attachment of 1.0 mm and 0.8 mm, respectively. The additional improvements were observed for all subgroups (adult periodontitis, generalized early-onset cases, smokers), with the largest differences in the non-smoking adult periodontitis patients. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that a one stage full-mouth disinfection results in an improved clinical outcome for the treatment of chronic adult or early-onset periodontitis as compared to scaling and root planing per quadrant at 2-week intervals.