Definitions used for a healthy periodontium—A systematic review

A. Li, R.Z. Thomas, L. van der Sluis, G.H. Tjakkes, D.E. Slot

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To investigate the explicitness and variability of the definition of periodontal health in the current scientific literature. Material and methods: The authors conducted a systematic literature review using PubMed and CENTRAL (2013-01/2019-05) according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and the guidelines of the Meta-analysis Of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) statement. Results: A total of 51 papers met the predefined inclusion criteria. Of these, 13 papers did not report any explicit definitions of periodontal health. Out of the 38 remaining articles, half of them used a reference to support their definition and half of them not. The studies published in periodontics-related journals or those that scored a low risk of bias for the methodical quality presented more explicit and valid definitions. Probing pocket depth was the most frequently used individual parameter for defining periodontal health. However, there were substantial variations in the methods of measurement and cut-off values. Conclusions: Given the diversity of periodontal health definitions, a cross-study comparison is difficult. The results of this review may be useful in making others aware of the significance of standardizing the definition of a healthy periodontium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-343
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Dental Hygiene
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


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