Onychophagia and postorthodontic isolated gingival recession: diagnosis and treatment

Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2012 Dec;142(6):872-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2011.12.029.


This clinical report describes the diagnosis and the management of isolated-type recession defects of complex etiology in 2 healthy postorthodontic patients. The lesions were confined to 1 mandibular incisor and were associated with an abnormal buccolingual inclination of the affected tooth despite a lingual retainer made with a round stainless steel twisted wire. After careful questioning, it was determined that the recession defects were indirect effects of habitual onychophagia. The concomitant fingernail-biting habit and the lingual bonded retainer led to the indirect development of bone dehiscence and, consequently, gingival recession.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Gingival Recession* / diagnosis
  • Gingival Recession* / etiology
  • Gingival Recession* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Nail Biting / adverse effects*
  • Orthodontics, Corrective
  • Young Adult