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J Periodontol. 1992 Jan;63(1):24-7.

Temperature differences at periodontal sites in health and disease.

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Department of Periodontics, University of Missouri-Kansas City, School of Dentistry.


The purpose of this study was to determine if a thermocouple probe was capable of detecting differences in temperatures between healthy and diseased periodontal sites. Twenty-two patients, 11 with radiographic evidence of periodontitis and 11 without, were probed twice with the temperature probe, and twice with a conventional probe by two examiners. Two definitions of health and disease were used. Definition one was that any site probing 5 mm or a site that bled upon probing was considered diseased. Sites 4 mm and with no bleeding on probing were considered healthy. Mean temperature differences were calculated from a baseline sublingual temperature. Each arch and tooth demonstrated different temperatures with temperatures decreasing from posterior to anterior. Differences from baseline between healthy and diseased sites were consistently higher for diseased sites. For example, maxillary second molars were 0.72 degrees C higher than baseline while the maxillary central incisors were 1.40 degrees C higher than baseline. Mean temperature differences between healthy and diseased sites were significant (P less than 0.005) for all sites. Definition two was developed since all sites 5 mm or greater and all sites which bled may not be diseased, the data were recalculated with disease including all sites greater than or equal to 5 mm with bleeding on probing and health including all sites less than or equal to 3 mm without bleeding. With this definition the mean temperature difference between healthy and diseased sites was even greater. Maxillary second molars were 0.96 degrees C higher, while maxillary central incisors were 1.76 degrees C higher.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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