New Test for Periodontal Disease

Dentistry Today


Researchers at Temple University’s Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry, have evaluated the effectiveness and ease of use of a color-changing oral strip in helping detect periodontal disease. 

The research team, led by Dr. Ahmed Khocht, associate professor of periodontology at the School of Den-tistry, studied 73 patients in 3 groups: (1) healthy, (2) those with gingivitis, and (3) those with periodontitis. Color reaction was scored based on a color chart, and the scores were compared with those from traditional clinical evaluation methods such as plaque index, gingival index, attachment levels, and bleeding on probing. The researchers found strong correlations between the traditional test methodologies and the numbers from the oral strip, suggesting the strips would be a comparable screening method. 

“The strip changes from white to yellow depending on levels of microbial sulfur compounds found in the saliva,” said Dr. Khocht. “A higher concentration of these compounds means a more serious case of gum disease, and shows up a darker shade of yellow.” He notes that it is important to have a screening method such as the oral strips that are quick and easy for clinicians to use. “The faster we can find out the disease is present, the sooner we can begin treatment,” he said. “And because the strips can change color, they can also act as a benchmark to help doctors find the right treatment for their patient and monitor their progress.” 

(Source: Science Daily, April 17, 2009)