Gingival recession in orthodontic patients 10 to 15 years posttreatment: A retrospective cohort study

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The aims of this study were to retrospectively investigate the long-term development of gingival recession in a cohort of orthodontic patients and to compare the prevalence of gingival recession in orthodontically treated patients 10 to 15 years posttreatment to that of untreated subjects with malocclusion.


The sample included 88 patients with mean ages of 12.1 years (SD, 2.4 years) at pretreatment, 15.1 years (SD, 2.4 years) at posttreatment, and 27.9 years (SD, 2.5 years) 10 to 15 years posttreatment. The control group comprised 102 untreated patients seeking orthodontic treatment with a mean age of 28.7 years (SD, 3.1 years). Gingival recession was evaluated on study models.


The prevalence of both labial/buccal and lingual/palatal gingival recession increased during orthodontic treatment with further increases during the long-term posttreatment period; 98.9% of the orthodontically treated participants had at least 1 labial/buccal recession, and 85.2% of the patients had at least 1 lingual/palatal recession 10 to 15 years posttreatment. In addition, the proportion of patients with multiple labial/buccal or lingual/palatal recession sites increased considerably in the same time period. The prevalences of labial/buccal gingival recession were similar in the orthodontically treated patients 10 to 15 years posttreatment and the untreated controls. Study group patients with a crossbite before treatment showed 2.73 more recessions (95% CI, 0.28-5.17; P = 0.029) than did those without a transverse discrepancy. Untreated subjects with crowding greater than 3 mm per arch had 3.29 more recessions (95% CI, 0.73-5.68; P = 0.012) to 4.92 more recession sites (95% CI, 1.70-8.15; P = 0.003) than did those with mild or no crowding.


Within the limitations of this study, it seems that, in regard to the prevalence of gingival recession, orthodontically treated patients are not compromised in the long term compared with those with malocclusion that was untreated for many years.

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