Gingival recession is a common condition that affects a significant proportion of the adult population and an increasing proportion of teenagers and young adults. It is often perceived by patients to be a major problem and these patients can often become quite concerned and seek advice from dental professionals about its cause and management. The prevalence of recession increases with age, hence the common expression ‘getting long in the tooth’.
The aetiology of gingival recession may be complex and multifactorial, including periodontal diseases (gingivitis and periodontitis), anatomical factors (bone and soft tissue), iatrogenic factors such as arch expansion orthodontics and other patient-related factors such as smoking, oral hygiene habits and intraoral jewellery.
Management of recession defects may range from self-care only, utilising specific toothbrushing techniques and oral hygiene products, to complex mucogingival surgery to achieve root coverage that may require specialist intervention. Much depends on whether the recession is the result of pathology or anatomy. This presentation will cover the classification, aetiology, management and treatment of recession defects for different groups of patients.
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