Background and objectives: The success of any surgical procedure is predominately influenced by the pattern of its wound healing. The objective of the present study was to assess gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) and serum matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) levels during the early healing phase of root coverage procedures. MMP-8 levels on days four and seven were correlated with the wound healing index (WHI) to evaluate the presence of MMP-8 during early post-surgical wound healing after root coverage procedures. Materials and method: Fifteen isolated maxillary Miller’s Class I/Class II recession defects in systemically and periodontally healthy patients in the age range of 25 - 57 years were treated with coronally advanced flap and sub-epithelial connective tissue graft (CAF + SCTG). GCF and serum samples were collected at baseline, day four, day seven and six months after surgery from the gingival sulcus of the recession defect. A contralateral tooth with clinically healthy gingiva was used as control and samples were collected from this site too at the same time intervals. MMP-8 levels in GCF and serum were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Wound Healing Index was assessed on days four and seven. Mean root coverage (MRC) and complete root coverage (CRC) were assessed six months post-operatively. Results: Statistically signifi cant reduction in recession depth was observed with MRC of 88.67%. GCF and serum MMP-8 levels were significantly elevated on days four and seven post-surgery (p < 0.001) in the test site and reduced to baseline levels after six months. Weak positive correlation was observed between wound healing index and GCF MMP-8 levels on days four and seven. Moderate positive correlation was noted between serum MMP-8 levels and root coverage outcomes. However, this correlation was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Conclusion: The present prospective study showed satisfactory post-surgical healing and root coverage outcome. MMP-8 levels and its increase/decrease during the early wound healing follows the expected temporal pattern. No significant correlation was noted between MMP-8 levels during early wound healing and root coverage outcomes.
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