Author(s): Bollen CM, Mongardini C, Papaioannou W, Van Steenberghe D, Quirynen M
A treatment for periodontal infections often consists of consecutive rootplanings (per quadrant, at a 1- to 2-week interval), without a proper disinfection of the remaining intra-oral niches (untreated pockets, tongue, saliva, mucosa and tonsils). Such an approach, could theoretically lead to a reinfection of previously-treated pockets. The present study aims to examine the effect of a full-mouth disinfection on the microbiota in the above-mentioned niches. Moreover, the clinical benefit of such an approach was investigated. 16 patients with severe periodontitis were randomly allocated to a test and a control group. The patients from the control group were scaled and rootplaned, per quadrant, at 2-week intervals and obtained oral hygiene instructions. The patients from the test group received a full-mouth disinfection consisting of: scaling and rootplaning of all pockets in 2 visits within 24 h, in combination with tongue brushing with 1% chlorhexidine gel for 1 min, mouth rinsing with a 0.2% chlorhexidine solution for 2 min and subgingival irrigation of all pockets (3x in 10 min) with 1% chlorhexidine gel. Besides oral hygiene, the test group rinsed 2x daily with 0.2% chlorhexidine and sprayed the tonsils with a 0.2% chlorhexidine for 2 months. Plaque samples (pockets, tongue, mucosa and saliva) were taken at baseline and after 2 and 4 months, and changes in probing depth, attachment level and bleeding on probing were reported. The full-mouth disinfection resulted in a statistically significant additional reduction/elimination of periodontopathogens, especially in the subgingival pockets, but also in the other niches. These microbiological improvements were reflected in a statistically-significant higher probing depth reduction and attachment gain in the test patients. These findings suggest that a disinfection of all intra-oral niches within a short time span leads to significant clinical and microbiological improvements for up to 4 months.