Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyze modifiable patient risk factors from dental chart histories and radiographs for progressive mild-moderate periodontitis during periodontal maintenance (PM). Methods and Materials: Bitewing radiographs of 442 elderly periodontal maintenance patients were taken before and after two years of periodontal maintenance. Each progressive periodontitis (PP) patient (with at least one site of posterior interproximal bone loss of 2 mm, n=71) was matched to a periodontitis stable (PS) patient (no sites with bone loss, n=71) of the same gender and age (6five years) to control for these variables and was compared for measurements of general patient (medical history, smoking, hygiene and compliance habits) and tooth-related (bone loss, overhangs, interproximal dimensions) factors at baseline. Fisher exact and t-tests were used to compare groups. Results: While the elderly PM patients with mild-moderate periodontitis were generally stable, 71 of 442 were PP patients. No significant differences from PS patients were observed at baseline with regard to the systemic factors measured. However, the PP group had less cementoenamel junction to bone length (bone loss p,0.0001) and more interproximal width (2.361.0 mm) than did the PS group (1.760.6 mm, p=0.0016). This was reflected in more open sites without adjacent tooth contact in PP (42% vs 15%, p=0.0006). Conclusions: In the short term, systemic and behavior factors are of limited value in identifying mild-moderate periodontitis patients on PM at increased risk of bone loss. However, interproximal width and lack of adjacent tooth contacts are related to the likelihood of losing interproximal bone during periodontal maintenance, suggesting the need for restorative therapy.
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