Sir, the labiogingival notch is a developmental phenomenon that can be easily misdiagnosed and improperly treated. The labiogingival notch seen on the central incisors was first described by Brin and Ben-Bassat in 1989 in a population survey of 1,880 Israeli school children. They found a labiogingival notch in 123 children, with 6.5% prevalence on at least one central incisor. In 96 (5.1%) of the children, the notch appeared unilaterally, while in 27 children (1.4%), the notch appeared bilaterally.1 Later in 2001 they reported two cases of labiogingival notch which were misdiagnosed as pathological condition and were about to undergo unnecessary invasive procedures.

Corresponding to their description of labiogingival notch, I found a similar defect on the labial aspect of the upper central incisor while examining extracted teeth (Fig. 1). With this description of labiogingival notch, I would like to emphasise the importance of recognition of such a defect from cervical carious lesion treatment which may lead to an unnecessary invasive treatment. The labiogingival notch appears as an enamel depression close to the cementoenamel junction, with a depth that varies from a shallow depression to a deep groove. It can be identified by using a periodontal probe. The gingival margin closely follows the enamel contour, appearing almost normal in the case of a shallow notch, while in the case of a deep notch, it acquires an irregular contour because of extension of the gingival tissue into the defect. Many consider it a defect due to trauma during childhood.2 Brin and Ben-Bassat also noted this defect in children who suffered injury to their deciduous teeth. Thus one must enquire about the possibility of any injury during childhood when such a defect is noted. Clinically it may or may not pose a problem depending on the depth of the defect. A shallow defect may not be visible unless probed, while a deeper defect may require treatment for aesthetic purposes. In such cases placement of a restoration and gingival recontouring may be considered.

Figure 1
figure 1

Labiogingival notch on left upper central incisor tooth, seen as a shallow depression near the CEJ