If you have gum recession, you are at risk of developing gum disease. Gum recession is a common issue where the gum tissue surrounding teeth begins to wear or pull away. It slowly exposes the base of the tooth. Eventually, the roots become visible and exposed to harmful bacteria. Gum recession allows for bacteria to build up easily in pockets along the gum line. This leads to tooth damage, gum inflammation, and bone loss if not treated in a timely manner.
Dr. Richard Newhart and his team can reverse gum recession by first identifying the underlying cause. At your initial consultation, we recommend the best way to stop further gum tissue loss. This includes not brushing your teeth too hard. In some cases, you may require periodontal surgery to restore the missing gum tissues. The most common way to accomplish this is with gum grafting or, alternatively, the Pinhole Surgical Technique or pinhole gum surgery.
The Difference Between Gum Grafting and Pinhole Gum Surgery
Gum grafting is a special procedure involving the removal of healthy tissues from your mouth and suturing them onto areas of gum recession. The tissues are typically taken from your hard palate to reduce the risk of rejection. Generally, gum grafting takes several visits if you have more than two teeth affected by gum recession. However, the results are healthier gums and better overall oral health.
Alternatively, pinhole gum surgery moves the gums down over the tooth roots. In order to do so, Dr. Newhart uses a specialized method and a small tool. He will make small incisions into your gum line. Through these pinholes, he will loosen the gum tissue and stretch it over the exposed tooth root. Finally, he will insert collagen to keep the tissue in place, as collagen is the most dominant protein in the gum tissue.
Gum grafting and the pinhole gum surgery technique both cover the exposed roots, accomplishing many objectives. Namely, they prevent further root exposure, decrease sensitivity, and minimize the risk of tooth caries, infections, and tooth loss. Although they both accomplish comparable results, the pinhole surgical technique has many key differences:
- It’s minimally invasive. It does not require taking tissues from other parts of the mouth and implanting it in other areas. Rather, this procedure only requires small incisions that are comparable to the size of a pinhole.
- It has a quick recovery time. Since the incisions are so small, you can expect to heal within 48 hours.
- There is less discomfort. As the pinhole technique doesn’t require removing tissue or suturing, you will be more comfortable after your procedure.
- The pinhole technique can cover more areas in a shorter time frame. With gum grafting, it’s only possible to accomplish a small area at a time. The timeframe for recovery is significantly longer, so this is typically equivalent to one to two teeth per visit. On the other hand, the pinhole technique allows the dentist to treat all your gum recession in one visit.
- The results are immediate. If you’re impatient to restore a beautiful smile, the pinhole technique may accomplish this in one visit. Since more areas can be covered at one time, cosmetic improvement is achieved quickly.
Are You Eligible for the Pinhole Gum Surgery?
Now, for the big question. Is the pinhole technique for you?
If you have receding gums and are interested in receiving pinhole gum surgery, you may be the perfect candidate. Dr. Newhart will provide a careful evaluation of your teeth and gums to determine if you’re a good candidate. Here are some key indicators regarding eligibility:
- Gum recession for reasons other than gum disease
- Periodontal disease that’s been thoroughly treated
- No significant jawbone loss
- General good health
- Sufficient gum tissue
Pinhole Technique Aftercare
Essentially, since the incisions performed are minuscule, you should heal quickly. That said, Dr. Newhart and his dental team provide you with specific instructions to follow for up to 6 weeks. Be certain to return for checkups at your scheduled times. Typically, you should return after 24 hours, 1 week, 3 weeks, and 6 weeks to monitor your progress and take note of any changes.
In general, it’s recommended to follow regular, good oral hygiene although you must be careful to avoid brushing or flossing the surgical site. Although you may be curious about how your mouth is healing, it’s important not to pull on or touch the site with your fingers or any objects. Further, it’s best to avoid eating crunchy or sticky foods and drinking liquid out of a straw as it can disrupt the area.
Your gums may swell after the procedure, and you’ll probably have slight discomfort or sensitivity. However, if you suffer continuous swelling or unexpected bleeding, get in contact with our office. If you can’t reach us, go to your nearest emergency room.
With the right care, you can prevent gum recession before it starts!
There are many steps to minimize your chances of developing gum disease and gum recession. Specifically, it’s important to:
- Practice good oral care, including brushing (gently) with a toothbrush and flossing daily.
- Schedule routine dental appointments so your teeth can be thoroughly cleaned, plaque and tartar removed, and any issues are taken care of.
- Receive professional care for teeth grinding.
- Receive professional care for any orthodontic issues.
- Stop using tobacco and tobacco products.
- Avoid mouth piercings.
Scheduling the Pinhole Technique Procedure
Gum recession raises significant health concerns. Receiving the proper treatment for the gum recession as well as any underlying issues may be critical to maintaining good health. If you are concerned about gum recession, it is best to let the professionals evaluate your gums and teeth. You may be an excellent candidate for receiving gum surgery using the pinhole surgical technique.
Find out more about the pinhole technique by contacting the Gum Doctor, Dr. Newhart, today.