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Alerting Patients of Their Risk of Periodontal Disease Can Improve Oral Hygiene

African American woman brushing teeth.

Warning patients of their risks of periodontal disease may improve their oral hygiene, according to a study published in the Journal of Periodontology.

A team of researchers at King’s College London’s Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences divided a group of 97 adult subjects with moderate periodontal diseases into groups: those who received treatment as usual; those who received an individualized report on their periodontal risk, or those who received an individualized report, plus a program of goal-setting planning and self-monitoring based on psychological theory.

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. Frequency of interdental cleaning was only improved in the intervention groups.

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