Colour-changing strip can reveal gum disease in a jiffy

April 11th, 2009 - 12:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 11 (IANS) About 80 percent of adults suffer from some kind of gum disease, which causes tooth loss. Gum diseases are also linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Temple University researchers have found that a simple colour-changing oral strip can help detect gum disease, more quickly and easily than some painful traditional methods.

Ahmed Khocht, associate professor of periodontology at Temple School of Dentistry, and his team looked at the strip’s effectiveness in detecting periodontal disease among 73 patients divided into three groups.

The groups comprised of healthy adults, those with gingivitis (bleeding of the gums) and those with periodontitis (bleeding of the gums and a receding gum line).

Colour reaction was scored based on a colour chart, and those scores were compared with scores from traditional clinical evaluation methods such as plaque index, gingival index, attachment levels and bleeding on probing.

Researchers found strong correlations between the numbers from these tests and the numbers from the oral strip, suggesting the strips would be a comparable screening method, said a Temple release.

“The strip changes from white to yellow depending on levels of microbial sulphur compounds found in the saliva,” said Khocht.

“A higher concentration of these compounds means a more serious case of gum disease, and shows up a darker shade of yellow.”

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