Characteristics of Gingivitis
A. Tissue Color in Gingivitis
1. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gingiva often causing the tissue to become red and swollen, to bleed easily, and sometimes to become slightly tender.
2. Inflammation results in increased blood flow to the gingiva causing the tissue to appear bright red. Figures 13-5 and 13-6 show examples of common clinical presentations of gingivitis.
B. Tissue Contour (Size and Shape) in Gingivitis
1. An increase of fluid in the inflamed gingival tissue causes enlargement of the tissues. The normal scalloped appearance of the gingiva is lost if the gingival papillae are swollen.
2. Examples of types of changes in the appearance of the papillae are listed below.
a. Bulbous papilla—a papilla that is enlarged and appears to bulge out of the interproximal space (Fig. 13-7).
b. Blunted papilla—a papilla is flat and does not fill the interproximal space (Fig. 13-8).
c. Cratered papillae—a papilla that appears to have been "scooped out" leaving a concave depression in the mid-proximal area. Cratered papillae are associated with necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (Fig. 13-9).