Study uses artificial intelligence for gingivitis detection


Hong Kong: In recent years, the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in the dental field has been widely explored. However, a recent study is one of the first to use artificial intelligence to detect gingivitis, allowing patients to monitor the effectiveness of their plaque control. The technology has the potential to improve the early detection and prevention of oral and systemic diseases associated with periodontal disease, one of the most popular oral diseases worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, nearly one-third of periodontal disease cases are severe.

From left: Dr. Walter Yu-Hang Lam and Dr. Reinhard Chun-Wang Chau. (Image source: University of Hong Kong)

The interdisciplinary study was a collaboration between researchers from Hong Kong, Guangzhou, China, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The researchers trained and tested a novel AI model using a data set of more than 567 intraoral photos of gums with varying degrees of inflammation. The study found that an AI algorithm could accurately (>90%) analyze patients' intraoral photos to detect signs of inflammation, such as redness and bleeding at the gum edges. It identifies areas with or without gum inflammation with an accuracy close to that of a dentist.

Lead researcher Dr. Walter Yu-Hang Lam, clinical assistant professor of prosthodontics at the University of Hong Kong, said in a press release: “Many patients do not have regular dental check-ups and seek dentistry only when needed for pain relief. Teeth are at the peak of dental disease. In the final stages, tooth loss is inevitable and expensive rehabilitation is inevitable. Our research shows that artificial intelligence can be a valuable screening tool for people to detect and diagnose gum disease, one of the key indicators of periodontal disease. Provide earlier intervention and better health outcomes.

Discussing the benefits of using intraoral photos with artificial intelligence technology, lead author Dr. Reinhard Chun-Wang Chau, clinical research coordinator in restorative dentistry science at the University of Hong Kong, said that based on intraoral photos, patients can see which areas have not been cleaned properly. , and seek dental care as early as possible.

The researchers now plan to make the technology available to older adults and underserved communities to improve their oral health and reduce health care disparities.

The study, titled “Accuracy of Photographic Detection of Gingivitis Based on Artificial Intelligence”, was published on April 26, 2023 in ” International Journal of Dentistry, forthcoming in an issue.

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