Gingivitis as a risk factor in periodontal disease

J Clin Periodontol. 2009 Jul:36 Suppl 10:3-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2009.01415.x.


Background: Dental plaque has been proven to initiate and promote gingival inflammation. Histologically, various stages of gingivitis may be characterized prior to progression of a lesion to periodontitis. Clinically, gingivitis is well recognized.

Material & methods: Longitudinal studies on a patient cohort of 565 middle class Norwegian males have been performed over a 26-year period to reveal the natural history of initial periodontitis in dental-minded subjects between 16 and 34 years of age at the beginning of the study.

Results: Sites with consistent bleeding (GI=2) had 70% more attachment loss than sites that were consistently non-inflamed (GI=0). Teeth with sites that were consistently non-inflamed had a 50-year survival rate of 99.5%, while teeth with consistently inflamed gingivae yielded a 50-year survival rate of 63.4%.

Conclusion: Based on this longitudinal study on the natural history of periodontitis in a dentally well-maintained male population it can be concluded that persistent gingivitis represents a risk factor for periodontal attachment loss and for tooth loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dental Plaque / complications
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology
  • Dental Plaque / pathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Gingivitis / complications*
  • Gingivitis / etiology
  • Gingivitis / pathology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / etiology*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Periodontitis / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tooth Loss / etiology*
  • Young Adult