Date of Award

Spring 1995

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Michele L. Darby

Committee Member

Lynn Tolle-Watts

Committee Member

Deborah Bauman

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.D46 K55


The purpose of this investigation was to determine if there is a difference in the type of microorganisms found in oral sites classified as gingival health, mild-moderate periodontitis, or severe periodontitis as measured by the DMDx* Test. A purposive sample of one hundred oral sites was selected from adult patients. Subjects were excluded from the study based on: the presence of any systemic disorders, communicable diseases, diabetic conditions, blood dyscrasias, congenital heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, pregnancy, history of periodontal surgery, prosthetic joint replacement, hypertensive heart disease, or any medications that might alter the gingival tissues (e.g. antibiotics, hormonal therapy, oral contraceptives, etc.). A clinical oral examination was conducted on patients to identify oral sites that could be classified as healthy tissue, mild to moderate periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Once classified, the DMDx* Test was conducted. Results revealed significant differences in Porphyromonas gingivalis between sites of gingival health and mild-moderate periodontitis and between gingival health and severe periodontitis. The quantity of Porphyromonas gingivalis was greatest in mild-moderate periodontitis, followed by severe periodontitis. Levels of Prevotella intennedia were significantly different among all three periodontal classifications, with the highest concentration in sites of mild-moderate periodontitis and the lowest concentration in gingival health. In all classification groups, the levels of Prevotella intennedia were the highest, followed by Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Haemophilus actinomycetemcomitans.

Findings support the conclusion that Haemophilus actinomycetemcomitans is a poor indicator for active adult periodontal disease. Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intennedia are most prevalent in oral sites classified as mild-moderate to severe periodontal disease.


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