• gingival recession;
  • longitudinal study;
  • oral hygiene;
  • prevalence;
  • progression/regression;
  • tooth brushing



To assess the prevalence and progression/regression of gingival recession in a population sample with a high standard of oral hygiene and broad knowledge of the role of traumatic tooth brushing in the aetiology of gingival recession.

Material & Methods

Forty dental students in their final year at Dental School were examined for gingival recession in 1994 and 10 years later by the same examiner. Tooth brushing habits were ascertained in a questionnaire. Clinical parameters recorded for each recession were: recession height, probing depth, width of keratinized gingiva and bleeding on probing. Full-mouth plaque index was recorded using the modified Quigley & Hein index.


The prevalence of gingival recession was 85% and did not change after 10 years. A total of 210 recessions found at the initial examination and 299 at the second were valid for longitudinal evaluation. Statistical differences between recessions at both examinations were found in several clinical parameters. Subjects had a significant increase in the plaque index at the second examination despite very few changes in their oral hygiene habits (p < 0.0001).


In dentists, after 10 years, mean number of gingival recession per person and mean recession height increased while plaque control decreased.