Is there a virtually painless way to treat receding gums?
Yes, recent advances in technology have led to a new treatment modality that is called Pinhole® Surgical Technique or, as we like to call it, Root Protection Procedure. Over time, the protective layer of gum tissue over our tooth roots can be lost. This can happen for many reasons, but the end result is always the same: Unprotected root surfaces that can be damaged by tooth brushing, acidic saliva and foods, and bacteria. This opens the door to tooth decay, which can lead to tooth loss. In addition, unsightly root surfaces can make smiling unattractive since the teeth appear long and thin. Root surfaces can also become discolored or appear dark, even if the white part of the tooth is healthy and still looks good.
The good news is that this new procedure can be an effective alternative to the traditional approach requiring that gum tissue be harvested from the roof of the patient's mouth. A dental specialist can determine through a simple examination whether a patient is a good candidate for this procedure.
How do patients develop problems with receding gums?
Most commonly, hard or improper tooth brushing technique contributes to receding gums. For example, aggressive brushing with a side-to-side motion can irritate delicate gum tissue and lead to gum recession. Tooth movement during orthodontic treatment can sometimes contribute to this problem. Other factors can be an issue as well. A dental specialist can best diagnose and identify the cause of gum recession.
How does the Pinhole Surgical Technique work?
Most patients are familiar with laparoscopic procedures, a minimally invasive surgical technique that allows surgery to be performed without the traditional incisions. By creating one or two pinholes in the patient's gum tissue, the doctor is able to insert instruments that "push" healthy tissue into place to help fill "the gaps" created by receding gums.
What are the advantages of this procedure to the patient?
The Pinhole Surgical Technique now makes it possible to treat gum recession—scalpel-free and suture-free. This means that the patient usually experiences less discomfort and less down time due to recovery. Because there is very little harm done to the gum tissue, there is minimal bleeding. The results are healthier gums, improved oral health and a greatly improved smile. Since healthy gums are essential for a healthy mouth, treating gum recession is important for
lasting dental wellness.