Bleeding on probing

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


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Straight periodontal probe at left, and Naber's probe on the right.

Bleeding on probing is a term used by dentists when referring to bleeding that is induced by gentle manipulation of the tissue at the depth of the gingival sulcus, or interface between the gingiva and a tooth. In order to determine the periodontal health of a patient, the dentist records the sulcular depths of the gingiva as well as observe for any bleeding on probing. This is often accomplished with the use of a periodontal probe.

Bleeding on probing, often abbreviated BOP, is a sign of inflammation and indicates some sort of destruction and erosion to the lining of the sulcus.[1] Peer-reviewed dental literature thoroughly establishes that bleeding on probing is a poor positive predictor of periodontal disease, but conversely is a very strong negative predictor. The clinical interpretation of this research is that while BOP presence may not indicate periodontal disease, continued absence of BOP is a strong predictor (approximately 98%) of continued periodontal health.[2]









References

  1. Fermin A. Carranza. CARRANZA'S CLINICAL PERIODONTOLOGY, 9th edition, 2002. page 447
  2. Absence of bleeding on probing. An indicator of periodontal stability. J Clin Periodontol. 1990 Nov;17(10):714-21.




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