What is the role of occlusal adjustment in periodontal treatment?

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The relationship between trauma from occlusion and periodontal disease has long been a area of discussion. Occlusal adjustment has been conducted routinely by some as part of procedures to control periodontal disease.  The aim of this review was to assess whether  there any evidence that occlusal adjustment as part of periodontal therapy provides additional benefit when compared to periodontal therapy alone?

The Medline, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and EMBASE databases were searched together with periodontal journals and the reference lists of identified articles. Human interventional trials in English were included.  Study quality was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool.

  • Four studies met the inclusion criteria (1 randomised trial, 2 cross-over trials and a retrospective study) and a qualitative summary was provided

The authors concluded

 Within the limits of this systematic review, few studies could be analysed to reach a solid conclusion about the influence of occlusal adjustment associated with periodontal therapy, on periodontal clinical parameters. Even though the benefits of occlusal adjustment are yet to be proven, evidences so far have not shown any adverse effects associated to this therapy. However, new studies are required to answer the question of this systematic review


The limited number of studies identify and the poor indicates that these findings should be interpreted with care. While the review is generally well conducted limiting the studies to the English language may mean that some studies were excluded that might influence the conclusions.


Foz AM, Artese HP, Horliana AC, Pannuti CM, Romito GA.Occlusal adjustment associated with periodontal therapy-A systematic review. J Dent. 2012 Sep 13. pii: S0300-5712(12)00240-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2012.09.002. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22982113.





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Derek Richards

Derek Richards is a specialist in dental public health, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry and Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) Development Team. A former editor of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal and chief blogger for the Dental Elf website until December 2023. Derek has been involved with a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994. Derek retired from the NHS in 2019 remaining as a part-time senior lecturer at Dundee Dental School until the end of 2023.

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