Objective: To perform an analysis of the Fourth Colombian Oral Health Study in order to describe the prevalence and extent of gingival recession in relation to different demographic, environmental and dental variables. Methods: A national representative sample including 9255 adult individuals was randomly selected using probabilistic methods. Periodontal assessments were performed for all teeth, six sites per tooth. Clinical data collected were: number of teeth, pocket depth and position of the gingival margin. Presence of gingival recession was registered. Demographic, environmental and dental variables were collected. Prevalence and extent of gingival recession at different cut-off values, by tooth types, and factors associated with buccal recession ≥ 4 mm were described. Results: Gingival recession was common in the examined population: 69.7% of subjects had ≥ 1 site with recession ≥ 1 mm, and 30.3% had ≥ 1 site with recession ≥ 3 mm. A total of 28.6% of teeth were affected by recession ≥ 1 mm, and 7.6% by recession ≥ 3 mm. The most frequently affected tooth types were first maxillary molars, first and second mandibular premolars, and the first maxillary premolar. Factors significantly associated with recession ≥ 4 mm were: older age, male gender, lower income, former smoker, diabetes, and less frequent toothbrushing. Conclusions: Gingival recession is a common finding in the Colombian population. Factors associated with recession presence were the same as for periodontitis. Less frequent toothbrushing was associated with deep buccal recession.
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