Experimental mucositis/gingivitis in persons aged 70 or over: microbiological findings and prediction of clinical outcome

  • Simon Meyer
  • Catherine GiannopoulouEmail author
  • Jose Cancela
  • Delphine Courvoisier
  • Frauke Müller
  • Andrea Mombelli
Original Article



To assess in persons aged 70 years or older the microbiological alterations occurring around implants and natural teeth during and after 3 weeks of undisturbed plaque accumulation. Furthermore, to test the predictive value of several markers at baseline for the extent of inflammation around implants and teeth after this period.

Materials and methods

Twenty partially edentulous participants with titanium implants refrained from oral hygiene practices while being clinically monitored in weekly intervals for 21 days. Teeth and implants were then cleaned, oral hygiene resumed, and the participants were further monitored. Levels of six subgingival plaque microorganisms, the plaque index (PI), and the gingival index (GI) were assessed before (baseline), during (days 0, 7, 14, 21), and after plaque accumulation (days 28, 42). Six microorganisms; demographic and clinical variables at day 0 were further evaluated as potential predictors for presence of GI > 1 at days 21 and 28.


The detection frequency of the selected bacteria did not differ between implants and teeth at any time point. Bacteria counts decreased in the preparatory phase and increased in the plaque accumulation phase. Patterns observed at implants and teeth were similar. Only Parvimonas micra at day 21 reached significantly higher counts at implants than teeth. For the prediction of clinical outcome at day 21, in the multivariable model, only implant vs. tooth was significant indicator for the primary outcome (p = 0.01).


Overall, the analysis of subgingival/submucosal samples revealed only minor differences between implants and teeth during the development and resolution of inflammation.

Clinical relevance

Within the limitations of our study, with plaque accumulation, elders develop more inflammation around implants than around teeth, in spite of similar bacterial profiles.


Adult Aged Dental plaque Bacteria Gingivitis Mucositis Dental implants Natural teeth Outcome assessment 



This work was financed by research funds of the Division of Periodontology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Geneva, and supported in part by an unrestricted research grant from the Swiss Society of Periodontology.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study was performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and was approved by the Ethics Committee of the University Hospital of Geneva, Switzerland (CER: 13-241).

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Meyer
    • 1
  • Catherine Giannopoulou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jose Cancela
    • 1
  • Delphine Courvoisier
    • 2
  • Frauke Müller
    • 3
  • Andrea Mombelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Periodontology, University Clinics of Dental MedicineUniversity of GenevaGeneva 4Switzerland
  2. 2.Division of RheumatologyUniversity Hospitals of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  3. 3.Division of Gerodontology and Removable ProsthesisUniversity Clinics of Dental MedicineGenevaSwitzerland

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