Distinct categories of microbial forms associated with periodontal disease

L. F. Wolff, B. L. Pihlstrom, W. F. Liljemark, E. M. Schaffer, C. L. Bandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine if a classification of subgingival plaque into distinct categories of microbial forms would be beneficial for detecting differences in the severity of periodontal disease. Three thousand and thirty‐two subgingival plaque samples were collected and evaluated from three different populations having 284, 160, and 180 individuals. Plaque and gingival indices, probing depth, and attachment level were measured at each sampling site. Overall, the results indicated that mean plaque index, probing depth, and loss of attachment were successively higher at sites classified into four distinct microbial categories in the order (1) “Low Motile Organism ‐ High Cocci,” (2) “Low Motile Organism ‐ Low Cocci.” (3) “High Motile Organism ‐ High Motile Rods,” and (4) “High Motile Organism ‐ High Spirochetes.” The consistent pattern of differences in severity of periodontal disease between these microbial categories suggest that microscopic interpretation of plaque may be improved by this classification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-502
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1985


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