Early‐onset periodontitis in Hispanic‐American adolescents associated with A. actinomycetemcomitans

David P. Cappelli, Jeffrey L. Ebersole, Kenneth S. Kornman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Abstract – This study examines the frequency of oral disease in an adolescent population, and assesses the relationship to Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. A total of 470 eighth grade students from San Antonio, Texas, were examined clinically for number of teeth, frequency of gingival inflammation, frequency of sites with BOP. and frequency of sites with 3‐5 mm pockets, and pockets >5 mm. The population ranged in age from 12 to 17 yr and was 93% Hispanic. Heavy accumulations of plaque and calculus were frequently observed and were associated with gingival inflammation, as 95.6% of the students exhibited bleeding on probing, and 99.6%. of the students presented with at least on quadrant of inflammation upon visual examination. Significantly, 25.7% of the students exhibited early‐onset periodontitis (HOP) with 1.7% diagnosed as LJP. Many students exhibited substantial levels of plaque and calculus, but no clinical evidence of loss of attachment. Subjects with periodontitis (EOP or LJP) presented with elevated systemic IgG antibody to actinomycetemcomitans serotype b and subgingival plaque samples positive for the microorganism. These results describe the prevalence of EOP/LJP in an adolescent Hispanic population from South Texas. The findings support that actinomycetemcomitans may represent a pathogen in periodontitis and while oral health care may be poor, contact with the microorganism appears to be required to initiate disease in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-121
Number of pages6
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1994


  • A. actinomycetemcomitans
  • Hispanic
  • antibody
  • periodontitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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