Background: It is becoming increasingly important for periodontists and dental hygienists to take a biopsychosocial approach to care when considering periodontal interventions. However, information on how patients perceive periodontitis and its treatment is limited. The purpose of the present study is to gain insight into the patient perception of oral health and the impact that periodontitis and treatment have on selfassessed quality of life (QoL). Methods: This was a prospective, two-center, clinical study in Japan. Patients with periodontitis were assessed for their perceptions of oral health by using an instrument for oral health-related QoL (OHRQL) before and after initial periodontal therapy. Results: A total of 58 patients (mean age: 53.6 years; 23 male and 35 female) participated in the study and completed initial periodontal therapy. At baseline, 97% of the patients perceived that their oral health status impacted on their QoL in one or more ways. Pain, eating and chewing, and psychologic function were identified as compromised OHRQL domains. More than one-half of the patients rated their overall oral health as poor. Initial periodontal therapy, consisting mainly of oral hygiene instructions and scaling and root planing, significantly improved OHRQL scores (P = 0.0027). The effect size was calculated to be 0.51, indicating a moderate improvement. Compared with baseline, a significantly higher proportion of patients reported rarely or never having a problem regarding OHRQL domains such as pain (P = 0.0049) and eating and chewing (P = 0.0145) after treatment. No significant difference in the OHRQL improvement was found with respect to disease severity. Conclusions: Periodontitis negatively affected QoL in this population of Japanese patients with periodontitis. Conventional non-surgical periodontal therapy has a potential to ameliorate patient perceptions of oral health.
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