JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Occurrence of periodontal pathogens among patients with chronic periodontitis.

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the presence of the periodontal pathogens that form the red complex (Tannerella forsythia, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Treponema denticola) and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans in patients with chronic periodontitis. The sample consisted of 29 patients with a clinical and radiographic diagnosis of chronic periodontitis based on the criteria of the American Academy of Periodontology (3). Samples for microbiological analysis were collected from the four sites of greatest probing depth in each patient, totaling 116 samples. These samples were processed using conventional polymerase chain reaction, which achieved the following positive results: 46.6% for P. gingivalis, 41.4% for T. forsythia, 33.6% for T. denticola and 27.6% for A. actinomycetemcomitans. P. gingivalis and T. forsythia were more prevalent (p < 0.05) in periodontal pockets ≥ 8 mm. The combinations T. forsythia + P. gingivalis (23.2%) and T. forsythia + P. gingivalis + T. denticola (20.0%) were more frequent in sites with a probing depth ≥ 8 mm. Associations with the simultaneous presence of A. actinomycetemcomitans + P. gingivalis, A. actinomycetemcomitans + T. forsythia, P. gingivalis + T. forsythia and T. forsythia + T. denticola were statistically significant (p < 0.05). It was concluded that the red complex pathogens are related to chronic periodontitis, presenting a higher occurrence in deep periodontal pockets. Moreover, the simultaneous presence of these bacteria in deep sites suggests a symbiotic relationship between these virulent species, favoring, in this way, a further progression of periodontal disease.

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