Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 394-396  

On the minimally invasive approach to the gingival recession

Department of Therapeutic Stomatology, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Clementovski per 6-82, 115 - 184, Moscow, Russia

Date of Submission27-Oct-2012
Date of Acceptance07-May-2013
Date of Web Publication25-Jul-2013

Correspondence Address:
Sergei V Jargin
Department of Therapeutic Stomatology, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Clementovskiper 6-82, 115 - 184, Moscow
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-124X.115655

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Some aspects of pathogenesis and therapeutic approach to the gingival recession are discussed in this short communication with the example of a typical case from Russia, where excessive socket curettage after a tooth extraction resulted in a marked gingival recession. Subgingival plaque and calculus can be secondary to recession. An argument about plaque as a source of microorganisms might be plausible in case of inflammation, although various microorganisms are normal for the oral cavity. From the viewpoint of general pathology, being an atrophic condition, recession can progress due to repeated damage. On the author's opinion, calculus removal is not indicated at least for aged patients with marked gingival recession, having modest esthetic demands. Socket curettage after exodontia should be gentle. Surgical treatment of the gingival recession is beyond the scope of this communication.

Keywords: Exodontia, gingival recession, gingivitis

How to cite this article:
Jargin SV. On the minimally invasive approach to the gingival recession. J Indian Soc Periodontol 2013;17:394-6

How to cite this URL:
Jargin SV. On the minimally invasive approach to the gingival recession. J Indian Soc Periodontol [serial online] 2013 [cited 2022 Aug 10];17:394-6. Available from:

Gingival recession (GR) is characterized by displacement of the gingival margin apically from the cemento-enamel junction. The prevalence of GR increases with age; according to an estimate, it varies from 8% in children up to 100% after 50 years. [1] A patient may present with symptoms including pain from exposed dentine, root caries and esthetic concerns. [2],[3],[4] GR should be distinguished from periodontal pocketing; however, both forms of the gingival attachment loss can be found in the same patient. [5] The consensus is that GR is not an inevitable process of ageing and is caused by cumulative effects of inflammation and trauma. [6] Among contributing factors in the literature are listed dental plaque, destructive periodontal disease, mechanical trauma including the tooth-brushing, root prominence, tooth position and other anatomical factors, margins of gingival restorations, dentures, piercing, smoking, viral infection etc. [4],[7],[8] Repeated root planning may render exposed root surfaces sensitive. [4] It should be commented that association of plaque and calculus with GR, although often discussed, is not readily understandable. No association between calculus and GR among adolescents was found in the literature [9] There is an opinion that calculus itself has little or no impact on gingival attachment loss. [10] An argument about plaque as a source of microorganisms might be plausible in case of inflammation, although varied micro-flora is a norm for the oral cavity; while most plaque bacteria are not described by Microbiologists as pathogens. [11] Admittedly, there are many studies confirming the association between the plaque index and GR. [5],[12],[13] Relationship between plaque/calculus and GR is different among social groups: [4],[5],[12],[14] In populations with insufficient oral hygiene and access to dental care subgingival calculus is more extensive and correlates with the periodontal attachment loss, [1],[10],[15] whereas in patients with adequate oral hygiene the relation of GR to periodontitis is less evident. GR without inflammation was also designated as idiopathic periodontal atrophy or involution. [16] This topic needs further elucidation by research, because removal of plaque and calculus by mechanical or ultrasonic tools causes mild, but repeated gingival trauma. From the viewpoint of general pathology, being an atrophic condition, GR can progress due to repeated damage. On the author's opinion, calculus removal is not indicated at least for older patients with marked GR, especially in cases with mobility of teeth.

The above considerations are of importance also for exodontia, where curettage of the tooth socket is a routine procedure. Note that in English-language handbooks, a gentle socket curettage is recommended; [17] while in Russia [18],[19] it is usually performed more intensely, with the goal of complete removal of granulation tissue. [20] In case of marked gingival atrophy and retraction [Figure 1], excessive curettage of the socket may contribute to a root denudation of neighboring teeth [Figure 2], which can result in sensitivity and pain sometimes intensive enough to make another extraction necessary. In this particular case, a man 55-year-old with marked GR underwent extraction of the tooth 16 because of pain and sensitivity of exposed roots. Vigorous socket curettage was performed in spite of the patient's protests. After the extraction, both neighboring teeth show marked GR, with increasing root sensitivity of the tooth 17. A complaint was written to the health-care authority, which was responded with the argumentation that "the treatment was performed in accordance with the diagnosis and in required volume." It should be commented however that a method, even if practiced by the majority of practitioners, can be not in accordance with modern standards of care; and that practitioners should replace outdated methods with improved ones [21] on the basis of professional literature. [22]
Figure 1: Male patient 55-year-old. Marked gingival recession in the area of the lower incisors

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Figure 2: The same patient. Secondary gingival recession; 2 days after an extraction of the tooth 16 with socket curettage

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GR is usually not presented in textbooks as a separate entity; in Russian-language literature it is viewed within the scope of periodontitis, i.e., together with cases characterized by marked inflammation, formation of gingival pockets and granulation tissue, being regarded as an inflammatory condition of predominantly infectious etiology, which is obviously not the case for GR without inflammation. In conclusion, on the author's opinion, GR should be regarded as a separate entity with its own clinical presentation and indications for therapy. As in atrophy in general and in age-related atrophy in particular, the prevailing approach must be preservation and avoidance as far as reasonably possible, of traumatizing manipulations such as gingival, subgingival and socket curettage, minimization of soft-tissue damage and removal of granulation tissue, gentle handling of soft- and hard-tissues in periodontal surgery, etc. [23] The treatment of GR should be seen within the scope of minimally invasive periodontal therapy [23] and minimally invasive dentistry in general.

   References Top

1.Corranza FA, Rapley JW. Clinical feature of gingivitis. In: Newman MG, Takei HH, Carranza FA, editors. Carranza's Clinical periodontology. 9 th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co.; 2002. p. 269-78.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Kassab MM, Cohen RE. The etiology and prevalence of gingival recession. J Am Dent Assoc 2003;134:220-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Toker H, Ozdemir H. Gingival recession: Epidemiology and risk indicators in a university dental hospital in Turkey. Int J Dent Hyg 2009;7:115-20.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Tugnait A, Clerehugh V. Gingival recession: Its significance and management. J Dent 2001;29:381-94.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Tanner AC, Kent R Jr, Van Dyke T, Sonis ST, Murray LA. Clinical and other risk indicators for early periodontitis in adults. J Periodontol 2005;76:573-81.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Needleman I. Aging and the periodontium. In: Newman MG, Takei HH, Carranza FA, editors. Carranza's Clinical Periodontology. 9 th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co.; 2002. p. 58-62.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Chambrone L, Chambrone LA. Gingival recessions caused by lip piercing: Case report. J Can Dent Assoc 2003;69:505-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Mathur A, Jain M, Jain K, Samar M, Goutham B, Swamy PD, et al. Gingival recession in school kids aged 10-15 years in Udaipur, India. J Indian Soc Periodontol 2009;13:16-20.  Back to cited text no. 8
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9.Stoner JE, Mazdyasna S. Gingival recession in the lower incisor region of 15-year-old subjects. J Periodontol 1980;51:74-6.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.White DJ. Dental calculus: Recent insights into ocurrence, formation, prevention, removal and oral health effects of supragingival and subgingival deposits. Eur J Oral Sci 1997;105:508-22.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Allen DL, McFall WT Jr, Jenzano J. Periodontics for the dental hygienist. 4 th ed. Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger; 1987.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Mumghamba EG, Honkala S, Honkala E, Manji KP. Gingival recession, oral hygiene and associated factors among Tanzanian women. East Afr Med J 2009;86:125-32.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Sarfati A, Bourgeois D, Katsahian S, Mora F, Bouchard P. Risk assessment for buccal gingival recession defects in an adult population. J Periodontol 2010;81:1419-25.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Roberts-Harry EA, Clerehugh V, Shore RC, Kirkham J, Robinson C. Morphology and elemental composition of subgingival calculus in two ethnic groups. J Periodontol 2000;71:1401-11.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Neely AL, Holford TR, Löe H, Anerud A, Boysen H. The natural history of periodontal disease in man. Risk factors for progression of attachment loss in individuals receiving no oral health care. J Periodontol 2001;72:1006-15.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Zuhrt R, Kleber M. Periodontologie. 2. Auflage. Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth; 1988.  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Waite DE. Textbok of practical oral and maxillofacial surgery. 3 rd ed. Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger; 1987. p. 92-117.  Back to cited text no. 17
18.Jargin SV. Some aspects of dental care in Russia. Indian J Dent Res 2009;20:518-9.  Back to cited text no. 18
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19.Jargin SV. Some aspects of dental caries prevention and treatment in children: A view from Russia. Pesq Bras Odontoped Clin Integr 2010;10:297-300.  Back to cited text no. 19
20.Robustova TG. Extraction of teeth. Large Medical Encyclopedia. Vol. 26. Moscow: Soviet Encyclopedia; 1985. p. 14-5.  Back to cited text no. 20
21.Zinman EJ. Medicolegal issues. In: Rose LF, Genco RJ, Cohen DW, Mealey BL, editors. Periodontal Medicine. Hamilton: B.C. Decker Inc.; 2000. p. 273-88.  Back to cited text no. 21
22.Jargin SV. The state of medical libraries in the former Soviet Union. Health Info Libr J 2010;27:244-8.  Back to cited text no. 22
23.Dannan A. Minimally invasive periodontal therapy. J Indian Soc Periodontol 2011;15:338-43.  Back to cited text no. 23
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