Palpation of the Buccal and Lingual/Palatal Gingival Tissue of the Tooth

A palpation examination tests for sensitivity of the gingival tissue and for infection or inflammation of the cortical and medullary bone (Figure 2). Even when there is no radiographic evidence of an apical infection, an infection may be present clinically. A study by Bender et al7 reported it is not uncommon to have extensive disease of the bone without evidence on a radiograph.

Figure 2.
Palpation testing on tooth No. 19 performed by pressing index finger around the buccal and lingual gingiva.
Palpation testing on tooth No. 19 performed by pressing index finger around the buccal and lingual gingiva.