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Fast Facts: Perio Edition - AAP 2017 Classification System - Introduction to Gingivitis

Fast Facts

Fast Facts: Perio Edition Episode 37

[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Welcome back everyone! You are listening to another episode of Fast Facts- Perio Edition brought to you by A Tale of Two Hygienists in partnership with DentistRX. And now, please welcome your host, Katrina Sanders.
[Katrina Sanders, RDH]
Hello and welcome to Fast Facts: Perio Edition. On this week's episode, we continue the convo around the AAP classification system from 2017 and this week we are going to talk about gingivitis. Specifically gingivitis according to the American Academy of Periodontology, is now going to be split out into two major categories. Now, before we get into these categories, I want to be very clear. Gingivitis is currently considered to be the reversible disease process of the periodontium, and I want to say that again, gingivitis is a reversible disease process of the periodontium meaning the expectation now is for us as clinicians to see gingivitis as a disease process, albeit reversible. But it is still a disease process, meaning our responsibility to not only diagnosing but also educating, treatment planning and subsequently providing an intervention that is supportive to patients in the gingivitis status, now more than ever has been extremely important and impactful for our profession. The opportunity for us to let the patients know, "the good news is we caught it early, the good news is we caught it in a reversible state, with you and I working together we can address this disease process" provides us with an opportunity to build a value added conversation for our patients.
When we look at the various categories of gingivitis, know that there are two major flavors that the AAP has unpacked for us, and over the next few weeks we're going to be looking at those in greater detail. The first is our dental biofilm induced gingivitis. And when we look at dental biofilm induced gingivitis, this is where we'll look at an inflammatory condition that's either associated with the patient just having gross amounts of biofilm. And by gross, I mean a lot, not like "ew gross" a lot of biofilm, or these could be patients that have biofilm in addition to some type of a local risk factor or a systemic risk factor or drug induced enlargement of the gingiva, which we know can be exacerbated by dental biofilm.
We can also classify gingival diseases as being non dental biofilm induced, and this is the tough one for hygienists because we absolutely love the kind of inflammation in which our mechanized scalars or our hands scalers can get in there and clear out that inflammatory process. And when we look at non-dental biofilm induced cases, we're looking at situations in which the inflammatory process is actually not due to biofilm. It's due to some other condition or disorder. And this could be, for example, a genetic or developmentally or acquired disorder. This could be a very specific type of an infection, some type of an inflammatory or an immune condition not associated with biofilm. This could be a reactive process, a neoplasm, some type of endocrine, nutritional, or metabolic disease or disorder, a traumatic lesion, or perhaps even changes to the pigmentation of the gingiva alone. Over the next few weeks, we're going to crack open these two major flavors of gingivitis, biofilm induced and non-biofilm induced to help give us a better idea of what the expectations are with regards to these two major gingivitis headings.
Thank you for your time this week and have a wonderful week.
This has been another episode of Fast Facts - Perio Edition with Katrina Sanders, RDH. Please feel free to reach me on Instagram @thedentalwinegenist or on my website Cheers.
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Thank you for listening to another episode of Fast Facts - Perio Edition, brought to you in part by DentistRX makers of the InteliSonic line of power brushes. Find out more by visiting their website at We'll see you next week for another Fast Fact!

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