AI is essentially a super-smart computer system that can analyze vast amounts of information and learn from it. In medicine, this means AI can scan and interpret your medical images, like X-rays or CT scans, to find signs of trouble. It’s like having a super-powered magnifying glass that can pick up on the smallest details — details that could suggest health conditions like cancer or heart disease.

And the great part? It can review thousands of images quickly. This means we could potentially speed up the time it takes for you to get a diagnosis. The sooner we catch a problem, the sooner we can treat it.

Researchers In Hong Kong Have Had Interesting Breakthroughs With AI In The Detection Of Gum Disease.

A research team at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has been testing use cases of artificial intelligence in analyzing intraoral pictures. Their work has been a collaboration with several other institutions throughout the world, and has yielded very promising results for earlier detection of oral disease.

Because of the vast amount of data any AI can process in a short amount of time, in this case the AI was able to analyze 567+ photographs of patients’ mouths and learn key identifiers for gum disease and other maladies.

The algorithm has become very effective at quickly spotting inflammation and redness that are signs of gingivitis, which are all precursors to gum disease.

In practical usage, this could mean dental images that a provider is using to examine teeth looking for signs of cavities or observe uniformity in the tooth line, but the AI could provide additional insight into small and potentially hard to see details. The earlier a doctor can make patients aware of potential issues the more proactive the treatment becomes, and the more value the doctor is providing.

Some types of treatment are only viable if applied early on, which means that many patients miss out on those options entirely when their diagnosis happens further into the process.

The AI Isn’t Proposed To Replace Medical Professionals, But To Help Steer Patients Toward Their Care.

Dr. Reinhard Chun-Wang Chau, part of the team mentioned above, explains that a lot of people don’t regularly visit a dentist for checkups and only go then there’s pain. At that point, options are more limited.

But if this AI were to become more widely available, he suggests, patients could analyze photos of their mouths and become aware of warning signs that would otherwise go unnoticed. The software could then recommend they seek a medical professional to have what it spotted explored thoroughly.

Taking some photos of your mouth is a low-stress activity, so the barrier many people feel to visiting a dentist is removed in this case. And if the software can help steer some of those people to schedule a dental exam, everyone benefits.


The University of Hong Kong. “AI for early detection of gum inflammation.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2023. <>.