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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 368-375

Evaluation of the papillary gingival vasculature in smokers and nonsmokers with chronic periodontitis: A clinical in vivo study


1 Department of Periodontics, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Maxillofacial Radiology, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon
3 Department of Periodontics and Research, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Georges Aoun
Department of Oral Medicine and Maxillofacial Radiology, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Lebanese University, Beirut.
Lebanon
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_134_20

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Aim: Cigarette smoking has been recognized as an important risk factor in periodontal diseases. One of the suggested mechanisms behind this association is that nicotine alters the microcirculation and causes vasoconstriction and reduced blood flow through the periodontal tissues. Scarce information is currently available relative to the microvascular alterations associated with smoking and the distribution of capillaries through the various areas of the gingival tissues. The aims of this study were to assess, in human interproximal gingival biopsies, the number and diameter of gingival capillaries in periodontally affected smokers and nonsmokers using the CD34 immunohistochemical staining method. The pattern of distribution of vessels in the different areas of the gingival tissues was also assessed. Materials and Methods: Systemically healthy patients with moderate chronic periodontitis and ranging in age between 30 and 60 years were recruited for the study from the patient population attending the Periodontology Department of the Faculty of Dental Medicine at the Lebanese University of Beirut. The patients were selected to have a group of 10 patients (Group SP) of smokers (>10 cigarettes/day for the last 10 years) and a second group (Group NP) consisting of nonsmoking periodontally affected patients. Three to four weeks following initial preparation, one interproximal gingival biopsy was obtained from each patient. Immunohistochemical staining with CD34 mouse monoclonal antibody was used to identify the endothelial cells of the blood vessels within each sample. Twelve biopsy samples (five in Group NP and seven in Group SP) were chosen for the measurement of the number and diameter of vessels in three regions of the connective tissue of the biopsy under a blinded protocol. Results: In the two groups, the quantitative distribution of small, medium, and large vessels followed a similar trend with the number of small vessels being significantly greater than both medium and large vessels. Small vessels prevailed in the peripheral regions, whereas large vessels were more abundant in the deeper connective tissue areas. The total number of vessels seemed unaffected by chronic cigarette smoking in both groups in the entire biopsy area and in the separate connective tissue regions. Quantitative alteration in the total number of gingival capillaries was not observed in chronic smokers. A redistribution of small and large vessels in the superficial and deeper connective tissue areas of the gingival papilla was noted as a result of smoking in periodontal patients. Conclusion: The quantitative distribution of small, medium, and large vessels follows a similar trend with the content in small vessels being significantly more important than both medium and large vessels. Smoking and periodontitis result in a redistribution of small and large vessels in the superficial and deeper connective tissue areas of the gingival papilla compared to nonsmoking periodontal patients. The significance and clinical implications of such rearrangement of vasculature within the gingival tissue need to be further investigated.


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