Automated process incorporating machine learning segmentation and correlation of oral diseases with systemic health

July 26, 2019

Gregory Yauney, Rana A, Javia P, Wong L, Muftu A, Shah P. 41st IEEE International Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (2019). DOI: 10.1109/EMBC.2019.8857965


Imaging fluorescent disease biomarkers in tissues and skin is a non-invasive method to screen for health conditions. We report an automated process that combines intraoral fluorescent porphyrin biomarker imaging, clinical examinations and machine learning for correlation of systemic health conditions with periodontal disease. 1215 intraoral fluorescent images, from 284 consenting adults aged 18-90, were analyzed using a machine learning classifier that can segment periodontal inflammation. The classifier achieved an AUC of 0.677 with precision and recall of 0.271 and 0.429, respectively, indicating a learned association between disease signatures in collected images. Periodontal diseases were more prevalent among males (p=0.0012) and older subjects (p=0.0224) in the screened population. Physicians independently examined the collected images, assigning localized modified gingival indices (MGIs). MGIs and periodontal disease were then cross-correlated with responses to a medical history questionnaire, blood pressure and body mass index measurements, and optic nerve, tympanic membrane, neurological, and cardiac rhythm imaging examinations. Gingivitis and early periodontal disease were associated with subjects diagnosed with optic nerve abnormalities (p<0.0001) in their retinal scans. We also report significant co-occurrences of periodontal disease in subjects reporting swollen joints (p=0.0422) and a family history of eye disease (p=0.0337). These results indicate cross-correlation of poor periodontal health with systemic health outcomes and stress the importance of oral health screenings at the primary care level. Our screening process and analysis method, using images and machine learning, can be generalized for automated diagnoses and systemic health screenings for other diseases.

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