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Gingivitis is closely correlated with plaque deposits, a relationship long considered one of cause-and-effect.  It is generally believed that gingivitis has declined over recent years in the United States because of greater attention to oral hygiene as a part of personal grooming.  The main interest in gingivitis today is whether it is a precursor to periodontitis, since research suggests that only some sites or patients with gingivitis go on to develop periodontitis.


When assessed in populations, gingivitis is found in early childhood, and is more prevalent and severe in adolescence, after which prevalence tends to level off.  The prevalence of gingivitis among school children in the United States has ranged from 40% to 60% in national surveys. 


Gingivitis: Prevalence and Distribution

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