Is Gingival Recession a Consequence of an Orthodontic Tooth Size and/or Tooth Position Discrepancy? “A Paradigm Shift”

From Compendium – Colin Richman, DMD

Abstract: BACKGROUND:Gingival recession (GR) is a commonly observed dental lesion. The underlying etiology has not been clearly identified, although several theories have been suggested. Tooth crowding or tooth malalignment is also frequently observed, with both conditions appearing to be more prevalent in developed countries with heterogeneous populations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 25 consecutively treated patients representing 72 teeth and demonstrating facial clinical GR of > 3 mm were examined clinically and photographically and with 3-dimensional radiology using cone-beam computed tomography. All examined teeth presented with normal interproximal probing depths and attachment levels (< 4 mm). Tooth position or tooth volume plus the associated adjacent alveolar bone volume and GR were analyzed. This group was further evaluated during periodontal surgery for associated alveolar bone fenestrations or dehiscences. RESULTS: All teeth demonstrating > 3 mm of GR presented with significantly prominent facial tooth contours and associated alveolar bone dehiscences. Most involved teeth presented with their root structures extending beyond the facial alveolar bony housing (fenestrations). This represents a discrepancy between tooth size and alveolar bone dimensions in the buccolingual axial and sagittal orientation. Fewer involved teeth were malpositioned toward the buccal aspect. Both conditions were associated with facial alveolar bone dehiscences and associated GR. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests tooth volume and/or tooth position within the alveolar bony housing strongly correlate with GR. All nonperiodontitis-involved teeth with GR were associated with either wider teeth or facially aligned teeth. However,it is emphasized that all facially aligned teeth,or “larger” teeth, do not necessarily 

Models of human teeth as they exist within the...

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present with GR. Based on these findings, the radiographic-supporting bone index is proposed. This index should facilitate appropriate evaluation of the alveolar bone supporting the mucogingival complex, both on the facial and lingual aspect of teeth. Further investigations are needed to support these preliminary data.

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