Microbiological dynamics of red complex bacteria following full-mouth air polishing in periodontally healthy subjects—a randomized clinical pilot study

  • Belinda Reinhardt
  • Astrid Klocke
  • Sarah H. Neering
  • Sabine Selbach
  • Ulrike Peters
  • Thomas F. Flemmig
  • Thomas BeiklerEmail author
Original Article



Suppression of periodontal pathogens in the oral cavity of periodontally healthy individuals may lower the risk for periodontal or periimplant diseases. Therefore, the present study aimed to analyze the effect of supragingival debridement (SD) with adjunctive full mouth glycine powder air polishing (FM-GPAP) on the prevalence of periodontal pathogens in periodontally healthy individuals.

Materials and Methods

Eighty-seven systemically and periodontally healthy intraoral carriers of red complex bacteria, i.e., Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia, and Treponema denticola or other periodontal pathogens including Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Prevotella intermedia, and Eikenella corrodens were enrolled into the study and randomly assigned to receive SD with adjunctive FM-GPAP (test, n = 42) or SD alone (control, n = 45). In the first observation period, microbiological samples were obtained prior to, and 2, 5, and 9 days following intervention. If one of these periodontal pathogens could still not be identified, additional microbial sampling was performed after 6 and 12 weeks.


The prevalence of red complex bacteria was significantly reduced in the test compared to the control group following treatment (p = 0.004) and at day 9 (p = 0.031). Intragroup comparison showed a significant (test, p < 0.001; control, p ≤ 0.01) reduction in the mean prevalence in both groups from BL through day 9 with an additional significant intergroup difference (p = 0.048) at day 9. However, the initial strong reduction returned to baseline values after 6 and 12 weeks.


In periodontally healthy carriers of periodontal pathogens, FM-GPAP as an adjunct to SD transiently enhances the suppression of red complex bacteria.

Clinical relevance

Whether the enhanced suppression of red complex bacteria by adjunctive FM-GPAP prevents the development of periodontitis in periodontally healthy carriers requires further investigations.


Red complex bacteria Non-surgical periodontal therapy Full-mouth Glycine powder air polishing Periodontal health Prevention 



The follow-up was funded by the authors own departments.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Thomas Flemmig is an inventor with patents covering the fine-grain, low-abrasive glycine powder used in the present study. To safeguard against the conduct and outcomes of the clinical trial being influenced by a potential conflict of interest, Thomas Flemmig refrained from any sensitive elements of the clinical trial, including patient consent, direct data scoring, statistical analysis of data, and adverse event evaluation and reporting.

No other investigators had any conflicts of interest related to this study.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review board of the Heinrich-Heine-University, Germany (protocol number 3519).

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

  1. 1.DüsseldorfGermany
  2. 2.MelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Periodontics, Preventive and Restorative DentistryUniversity Medical Center of Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)HamburgGermany
  4. 4.University of Hong KongHong KongPeople’s Republic of China

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