Effect of periodontal treatment on peak serum levels of inflammatory markers

, Volume 18, Issue 9, pp 2113-2121


Background and objective

Some subjects with untreated periodontitis exhibit elevated levels of distinct inflammatory markers in serum. The aim of the study was to assess whether nonsurgical periodontal therapy changes the levels of these markers and lowers these peaks.


Forty periodontally diseased subjects received nonsurgical periodontal therapy (full-mouth scaling and root planing within 48 h) with either adjunctive systemic amoxicillin and metronidazole (n = 19) or placebo (n  = 21). Serum samples, obtained at baseline (BL) and 3 months after treatment (M3), were evaluated for 15 cytokines and 9 acute-phase proteins using the Bio-Plex bead array multianalyte detection system. For each analyte, peak values were defined as greater than the mean + 2 standard deviations (SD) of measurements found in 40 periodontally healthy persons. Proportions were compared using Fisher’s exact test.


At M3, a significantly better primary clinical outcome (persisting pockets of >4 mm with bleeding on probing) was obtained in patients treated with scaling and root planing plus antibiotics compared to those receiving placebo (3.3 ± 5.1 vs. 6.8 ± 7.8 pockets per patient, p  < 0.05). The levels of cytokines and acute-phase proteins of periodontitis patients were usually below the mean + 2 SD threshold of healthy persons. However, values above threshold were found in some individuals. Eleven patients showed a peak value of one analyte, and seven patients showed two peaks. In the remaining 12 patients, between three and ten analytes showed peak values. Therapy greatly reduced the number of subjects with four or more peaks (BL, 11 subjects; M3, 1 subject, p = 0.003). With regards to the reduction of peaks, no specific benefit of adjunctive antibiotics could be seen.


Subjects with untreated periodontitis may show high peaks for several inflammatory markers in serum simultaneously. Nonsurgical periodontal treatment with or without antibiotics reduced most of these peak levels.

One-sentence summary

Nonsurgical periodontal treatment with or without antibiotics reduced peak levels of several inflammatory markers in serum of subjects with periodontitis.


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