Gingival bleeding after a defined method of interproximal stimulation is a valid indicator for the presence of inflammation in the midinterproximal gingival tissues. The interdental bleeding index is a simple procedure for monitoring the gingival health of a patient. It can be used by patients to monitor their own gingival status between visits to the dentist. 

Procedure (as devised at the Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, New York):

(1) A wooden interdental cleaner is inserted between the teeth from the facial aspect.

(2) The path of insertion is horizontal, with care taken not to direct the point of the cleaner apically.

(3) The cleaner is used to depress the interdental papilla 1-2 mm, then removed.

(4) The process is repeated until the interdental cleaner has been inserted and removed a total of 4 times.

(5) The presence or absence of bleeding within 15 seconds is then recorded.


interdental index =

= (number of interdental spaces that bled) / (number of interdental spaces studied)



• minimum score: 0

• maximum score: 1.00

• The higher the value, the greater the extent of gingivitis.

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