Tracking periodontal disease to improve diagnosis and treatment


Newly developed automated method uses routinely collected data

Periodontal disease is an increasing public health problem in the United States as the U.S. population ages, yet periodontal disease is underdiagnosed and undertreated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47% of adults age 30 and older and 79% of adults age 65 and older have some form of periodontal disease.

Researchers at the Regenstrieff Institute and Indiana University School of Dentistry have developed computer algorithms to track changes in periodontal disease, which could help dentists and periodontists track the progression of the disease. They have also developed tools to automatically diagnose disease using electronic dental record data.

In the early stages of periodontal disease (gingivitis), the gums are swollen, red, and may bleed. In more severe cases, called periodontitis, the gums may pull away from the teeth, bone may be lost, and teeth may become loose or even fall out. Preserving natural teeth is important for good nutrition and other factors related to maintaining good health.

“Gum disease is often underdiagnosed and is reversible if caught early before it affects the underlying structure and adversely affects tooth support. Allowing dentists to utilize information in clinical records and dental information contained in the patient's electronic dental record Weekly charting data to track disease enables diagnosis and offers hope, she added. “We are here to develop and build a culture of documenting and diagnosing cases in a structured way in medicine,” she said, noting that the U.S. is approx. 90 % of dental offices use electronic dental records.

“I think the advantage of our approach is that using routinely collected data we can automate and monitor the treatment of gum disease and changes that are only clinically visible, so we can catch gum disease in its early, potentially reversible stages. This is different from just This contrasts with other methods that utilize radiographs, which only show advanced gum disease.

Factors that increase the risk of periodontal disease include smoking, diabetes, poor oral hygiene, stress, defective dental fillings and bridges, and medications that cause dry mouth.

“There is a bidirectional relationship between certain risk factors and gum disease,” says Dr. Thyvalikakath. “For example, having diabetes increases the risk of periodontal disease, and periodontal disease can negatively impact the course of diabetes. A similar relationship exists between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease. Identifying, monitoring, and treating gum disease is a key step for patients An important component of overall health.

“Development of automated computer algorithms to track periodontal disease changes from longitudinal electronic dental records” is published in the special issue “Advances in Biomedical and Dental Diagnostics Using Artificial Intelligence” in the peer-reviewed open access journal Diagnosis.

Authors and their affiliations
Jay S.Patel1 2 3 Krishna Kumar1Ahad Zai1,4Shin Daniel1Lisa Willis1and Thankam P. Thyvalikath1,4.

1Dental Informatics Program, Department of Caries Surgery Dentistry and Dental Public Health, Indiana University School of Dentistry, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

2Health Informatics, Department of Health Services Management and Policy, School of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, United States.

3Department of Oral Health Sciences, Kornberg School of Dentistry, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19140, United States.

4Dental Informatics Program, Center for Biomedical Informatics, Regenstrieff Research Institute, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

MedInfo Presentation 2023
Dr. Thyvalikakath proposed “the feasibility of automated diagnosis using electronic dental record data and periodontitis case definitions” at MedInfo 2023: the 19th World Medical and Health Informatics Congress held in Sydney, Australia. The paper is scheduled to be published in the conference proceedings.

Thanham Thyvalikath, DMD, MDS, PhD
In addition to serving as a research scientist at the Clem McDonald Center for Biomedical Informatics at the Regenstrief Institute and director of the Dental Informatics Program at Regenstrief and the Indiana University School of Dentistry, Thankam Thyvalikakath, DMD, MDS, PhD, is also a professor and associate dean at the Indiana University School of Dentistry. in Dental Informatics and Digital Health, and is an adjunct professor in the Ludy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering at Indiana University School of Medicine.

About the Regenstrief-IU School of Dentistry Dental Informatics Program
The Regenstrief Institute-IU School of Dentistry Dental Informatics Program was established in 2019 and is one of the oldest dental informatics programs in the United States. Knowledge of oral health issues. The goal is to apply the findings to dental offices and other points of care.

About the Regenstrieff Institute
Founded in Indianapolis in 1969, Regenstrief Institute is a local, national and global leader working to build a world where better information empowers people to end disease and achieve true health. As a key research partner of Indiana University, Regenstrief and its research scientists are responsible for a growing number of major health care innovations and studies. Examples include developing global health IT standards to enable the use and interoperability of electronic health records, improving patient-physician communication, and creating care models that inform practices and improve the lives of patients around the world.

Sam Regenstrief, a nationally successful entrepreneur from Connersville, Indiana, founded the institute with the goal of making health care more efficient and accessible to everyone. His vision continues to guide the institute’s research mission.

About Indiana University School of Dentistry
The Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) is Indiana's only dental school, providing an extraordinary learning environment that optimally combines teaching, research, and community service to prepare future dental professionals. About 80% of dentists practicing in Indiana are alumni of the school.

Founded in Indianapolis in 1879, IUSD is located on the health sciences campus of IUPUI, recognized as one of the nation's preeminent urban universities for its commitment to community engagement. IUSD takes advantage of the campus's central location in the state and its position in the research corridor connecting IUPUI, Purdue University West Lafayette and Indiana University Bloomington. IUSD faculty collaborate with other Indiana University schools of health sciences and Purdue University's School of Engineering Technology and Science to conduct world-class interdisciplinary research.



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