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J Periodontol. 2004 Oct;75(10):1377-86.

Gingival recession: epidemiology and risk indicators in a representative urban Brazilian population.

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Department of Periodontology, Temple University School of Dentistry, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.



Gingival recession is a common manifestation of periodontal disease, but it is also associated with other risk factors. A few studies have investigated the epidemiology and risk factors of this condition. This study describes the epidemiology of gingival recession in a representative, urban Brazilian population and assesses various risk indicators.


A representative sample of 1,460 subjects was selected using a multi-stage, probability, cluster sampling strategy. The subjects were interviewed using a structured questionnaire and had a full-mouth clinical examination in a mobile examination center.


More than half (51.6%) and 22.0% of the individuals and 17.0% and 5.8% of teeth per individual showed gingival recession > or = 3 mm and > or = 5 mm, respectively. The prevalence, extent, and severity of recession correlated with age. Recession showed a nonlinear relationship with age, with 25 to 50 year olds showing the highest level of recession. Males aged > or = 30 years showed significantly higher prevalence and extent of gingival recession than females. The percentage of teeth with recession was significantly higher in the lower socioeconomic groups irrespective of age, and in subjects > or = 30 years of age with irregular dental care than in subjects with regular care. Using a multivariable model, cigarette smoking and presence of supragingival calculus were the factors most significantly associated with localized and generalized recession, whereas gender, dental visits, and socioeconomic status were not significant risk indicators.


The high level of gingival recession in this Brazilian population may be primarily related to destructive periodontal disease and is significantly associated with a high level of supragingival dental calculus and cigarette smoking. Population-based programs aimed at the prevention of periodontal diseases may reduce the prevalence of severe gingival recession in this and similar populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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