Elevated temperature, normally a characteristic of inflammation, is a potential indicator of periodontal disease. The present investigation examined the relationship of subgingival temperature and various indicators of gingivitis in rats with spontaneous gingivitis (SUS rat) and in control rats (RES rat). In 24 SUS rats with gingivitis, the subgingival temperature rose, but not in 6 SUS and 20 RES rats with healthy gingiva. Subjects with high mean subgingival temperatures had significantly higher mean percentages of Prevotella intermedia and Fusobacterium nucleatum than age-matched RES rats. The results show that dental plaque, including specific bacteria P. intermedia and F. nucleatum, can play some role in causing the elevated temperatures.
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