Two broad categories of gingival diseases include non‐dental plaque biofilm–induced gingival diseases and dental plaque‐induced gingivitis. Non‐dental plaque biofilm‐induced gingival diseases include a variety of conditions that are not caused by plaque and usually do not resolve following plaque removal. Such lesions may be manifestations of a systemic condition or may be localized to the oral cavity. Dental plaque‐induced gingivitis has a variety of clinical signs and symptoms, and both local predisposing factors and systemic modifying factors can affect its extent, severity, and progression. Dental plaque‐induced gingivitis may arise on an intact periodontium or on a reduced periodontium in either a non‐periodontitis patient or in a currently stable “periodontitis patient” i.e. successfully treated, in whom clinical inflammation has been eliminated (or substantially reduced). A periodontitis patient with gingival inflammation remains a periodontitis patient (Figure 1), and comprehensive risk assessment and management are imperative to ensure early prevention and/or treatment of recurrent/progressive periodontitis.
Precision dental medicine defines a patient‐centered approach to care, and therefore, creates differences in the way in which a “case” of gingival health or gingivitis is defined for clinical practice as opposed to epidemiologically in population prevalence surveys. Thus, case definitions of gingival health and gingivitis are presented for both purposes. While gingival health and gingivitis have many clinical features, case definitions are primarily predicated on presence or absence of bleeding on probing. Here we classify gingival health and gingival diseases/conditions, along with a summary table of diagnostic features for defining health and gingivitis in various clinical situations.