Periodontal status in smokers and never-smokers: Clinical findings and real-time polymerase chain reaction quantification of putative periodontal pathogens

Sabrina C. Gomes, Flavia B. Piccinin, Rui V. Oppermann, Cristiano Susin, Claudia I. Nonnenmacher, Reinier Mutters, Rosemary Adriana C. Marcantonio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Background: Smoking is a well-known risk factor for destructive periodontal disease, but its relationship with periodontal status and subgingival microbiota remains unclear. Inherent limitations of microbiological methods previously used may partly explain these mixed results, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been presented as a valid alternative. The aim of the present study was to investigate the clinical condition and microbiological profile of patients with chronic periodontitis as related to the habit of smoking. Methods: Fifty patients (33 to 59 years old), 25 smokers and 25 never-smokers, constituted the sample. The visible plaque index (VPI), gingival bleeding index (GBI), bleeding on probing (BOP), periodontal probing depth (PD), clinical attachment loss (CAL), and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) volume were recorded. Real-time PCR quantified Porphyromonas gingivalis, Micromonas micros, Dialister pneumosintes, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and total bacteria in subgingival samples. Results: Smokers and never-smokers showed similar values for VPI, GBI, and BOP. Smokers had deeper PD, in buccal/lingual sites and higher CAL independently of the tooth surface. The GCF volume was smaller in smokers, independent of the PD. Similar amounts of total bacteria and P. gingivalis were observed for both groups. Significantly higher numbers of D. pneumosintes and M. micros were present in smokers and associated with moderate and deep pockets. When heavy smokers were considered, higher counts of total bacteria, M. micros, and D. pneumosintes were observed. Conclusions: Smoking seems to have a detrimental impact on the periodontal status and microbiological profile of patients with periodontitis. Compared to never-smokers, smokers had deeper pockets, greater periodontal destruction, and higher counts of some putative periodontal pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1483-1490
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of periodontology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-sectional study
  • Microbiology
  • Periodontitis
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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