A study led by researchers at the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), in collaboration with multiple international institutions has successfully demonstrated the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in detecting gum inflammation, also known as gingivitis, from intraoral photographs.

The study, published in the International Dental Journal, shows that AI algorithms can analyse patients’ intraoral photographs to detect signs of inflammation like redness, swelling, and bleeding along the gum margin with more than 90% accuracy, matching the visual examination of a dentist. This innovative technology enables population-wide monitoring of gum health and paves the way for more personalised dental care.

The study involved developing and testing an AI model using a dataset of over 567 images of gums with varying degrees of inflammation and is one of the first to explore the use of AI in detecting gum inflammation.

The use of AI in dentistry has been gaining momentum in recent years, with researchers exploring various applications of the technology, from detecting cavities to predicting treatment outcomes to biomimetic design of artificial teeth.

The collaborative nature of this study is a testament to the power of interdisciplinary research and knowledge exchange. By bringing together experts from different fields and regions, the researchers can develop an AI model that could accurately detect gum inflammation, with important implications for public health and well-being.