Diagnosing Gingivitis

Published on April 21, 2012 by

Clinical signs and symptoms of gingivitis are redness, swelling, bleeding on gentle probing, and spontaneous bleeding and/or visible pus in the absence of any bone loss, periodontal pocketing, or apical loss of gum tissue along the tooth root. Clinical signs of gingivitis can usually be seen after 10-20 days of plaque accumulation,. These signs of inflammation are usually precursors to attachment loss around the teeth, which would then be referred to as periodontal disease (periodontitis). Gingival recession is considered periodontitis due to the loss of attachment around the teeth.
Gingivitis is the infection of the gums. If allowed to progress, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, the invasion of the underlying bone that anchors the teeth in place. As that happens, the gums may recede, exposing the root surfaces and increasing sensitivity to heat and cold. Teeth may even loosen because of bone destruction.
Clinically, gingivitis assessment in regards to plaque accumulation involves several factors. These include visualization of gingival tissue changes in terms of color, contour and bleeding tendencies. Also, the use of a periodontal probe by the dental health care provider can help to diagnose gingival inflammation and bleeding.
Healthy gingival tissue is often typified by its pink color, firm consistency, stippled appearance, and knife-edged margin between the soft tissue and the tooth. It should also fill the interdental spaces below the contact areas of adjacent teeth and not bleed with gentle probing.

Filed under: Gum Disease

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