Large, general population-based data on carriage rates of periodontal pathogens hardly exist in the current literature. The objectives of the present study were to examine the salivary detection of Aggregatibacter (formerly Actinobacillus) actinomycetemcomitans, Campylobacter rectus, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, Tannerella forsythensis, and Treponema denticola in a representative sample of the adult population living in southern Finland and to clarify which determinants are associated with the presence of these pathogens in saliva.
The age group, gender, level of education, marital status, smoking history, number of teeth, and number of teeth with deepened pockets were included in the statistical analysis. In general, the carriage of periodontal pathogens was common, since at least one of the examined pathogens was found in 88.2% of the subjects.
In descending order, the total detection rates were 56.9%, 38.2%, 35.4%, 31.3%, 20.0%, and 13.9% for T. forsythensis, T. denticola, P. gingivalis, C. rectus, A. actinomycetemcomitans, and P. intermedia, respectively. Age per se was strongly associated with the carriage of P. gingivalis (P 0.000), and the level of education with that of T. denticola (P 0.000). There was an association between the number of teeth with deepened pockets and carriage of P. gingivalis (P 0.000), P. intermedia (P 0.000), T. denticola (P 0.000), and A. actinomycetemcomitans (P 0.004). The data suggest that distinct species have a different carriage profile, depending on variables such as age, educational level, and periodontal status.