Alerting Patients of Periodontal Disease Risks Can Improve Oral Hygiene

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Warning patients of their risks of periodontal diseases may improve their oral hygiene, according to a study published in the Journal of Periodontology. A team of researchers from King’s College London’s Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences examined 97 adults with moderate periodontal disease. The subjects were divided into three groups: those who received treatment as usual; those who received an individualized report on their periodontal risk; and those who received an individualized report, plus a program of goal-setting planning and self-monitoring based on psychological theory.

The researchers report that subjects in the two groups who were alerted of their risk for the disease experienced a significant reduction in dental plaque, as well as reduced scores for gingival inflammation over a 12-week period. With regard to self-care, the frequency of interdental cleaning was only improved in the educational intervention groups.

The study, “The Effect of Risk Communication on Periodontal Treatment Outcomes: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” is available online.

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