Periodontitis is an inflammatory process that occurs in the tissues surrounding the teeth. It is caused by microorganisms and groups of microorganisms and results in loss of periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. Herpes virus has emerged as a putative pathogen in periodontal disease. Periodontal disease was demonstrated in 50 patients by careful probing of pockets and completion of a medical record. Three saliva samples were collected in individuals with deep pockets. Samples were obtained with a sterile swab and placed in 10% glucose solution for storage at -80°C. DNA purification and PCR, in addition to electrophoresis, were performed. Of the 50 samples processed, two were positive for HSV-1 and two for HSV-2. Three were from women with mild, moderate, and severe chronic periodontitis, respectively, and one (HSV-1) from a man with mild chronic periodontitis. Due to the low prevalence of herpes simplex virus in periodontal pockets, it was not possible to determine its role in the progression of periodontitis.
Key words: Herpes simplex virus, plaque index, gingival index, electrophoresis.
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