Date of Award

Summer 2001

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Gayle McCombs

Committee Member

Michele L. Darby

Committee Member

Kenneth Marinak

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.D46 Z56 2001


The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between volatile sulfide compounds and gingival health status, and to identify if volatile sulfide compounds can detect early dental plaque-induced gingival disease, using an experimental gingivitis model. The sample consisted of 12 subjects between 19 and 28 years, with a healthy gingival status. A split-mouth design utilizing only the mandibular arch was used. A baseline full-mouth periodontal probing status was measured. After baseline data collection and for two weeks, subjects refrained from brushing and flossing one randomly selected half of the mandibular arch. At baseline and six subsequent appointments, gingival inflammation, bleeding on probing, and sulfide levels were obtained using the Gingival Index and the Diamond Probe/Perio 2000 System. The Pearson correlation test determined the relationship between sulfide levels and gingival health status. The Wilcoxon test was used to compare the differences in gingival inflammation, bleeding and sulfide levels between the brushing and non-brushing sides at each interval.

The non-brushing side data revealed that sulfide levels correlated significantly with the Gingival Index and bleeding on probing scores. Sulfide level is the most sensitive indicator among three dependent variables in detecting early clinical dental plaque-induced gingival disease. Results suggest that volatile sulfide compounds may be an early gingival disease indicator.


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