Periodontal pathogen detection in gingiva/tooth and tongue flora samples from 18- to 48-month-old children and periodontal status of their mothers
Oral Microbiol Immunol 2002: 17: 55–59.© Munksgaard, 2002.
Few studies have detected periodontal pathogens in young children, and when detected the prevalence has been relatively low. In this epidemiological study, we determined the prevalence of periodontal pathogen colonization in young children and examined the relationship between periodontitis in mothers and detection of periodontal pathogens in their children aged 18–48 months. Children were selected and enrolled randomly into the study; tongue and gingival/tooth plaque samples were harvested and analyzed by DNA probe checkerboard assay for Porphyromonas gingivalis and Bacteroides forsythus. Clinical measurements included a gingival bleeding score in the children and a periodontal screening and recording (PSR) score in the mothers. Mothers having one or more periodontal sites with probing depths > 5.5 mm were classified as having periodontitis. In this population, 71% (66/93) of the 18- to 48-month-old children were infected with at least one periodontal pathogen. Detection rates for children were 68.8% for P. gingivalis and 29.0% for B. forsythus. About 13.8% (11/80) of children had gingival bleeding in response to a toothpick inserted interproximally. Children in whom B. forsythus was detected were about 6 times more likely to have gingival bleeding than other children. There was no relationship between bleeding and detection of P. gingivalis. 17.0% (16/94) of the mothers had periodontitis. When all mother–child pairs were considered, the periodontal status of the mother was found not to be a determinant for detection of periodontal pathogens in the floral samples from the children. However, the odds ratio that a daughter of a mother with periodontitis would be colonized was 5.2 for B. forsythus. A much higher proportion of children in this population were colonized by P. gingivalis and/or B. forsythus than has been previously reported for other populations. A modest level of association between manifestations of periodontitis in mothers and detection of B. forsythus in their daughters was observed.