Your teeth may be the most prominent part of your smile, but your gums are every bit as important. They support your teeth and hold them in place, and serve as a barrier to protect the sensitive tooth roots from bacteria and discomfort.
Gum recession is when your gum tissue begins to recede from the teeth. Healthy gums are pink and firm, and they form a tight seal around the base of each tooth. When they pull away from the teeth, you risk pain from the roots being exposed and, eventually, tooth loss as the gums are no longer able to adequately support your pearly whites. Pockets form between the teeth and gums, providing an inviting space for bacteria to move in and proliferate.
The conventional treatment for severe gum recession is a procedure called gum grafting. While this does a fine job of restoring your gumline, the technique is complex and invasive.
At Edgewood Dental Care, we offer a better way to bring your severely receded gums back to health. Called the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique, it is quicker, far less invasive, and faster healing than gum grafting.
Call our Edgewood, KY office at 859-474-7830 to book a consultation.
Gum Recession Can Affect Anyone
Even people with otherwise healthy gum tissue can end up with gum recession. The process can happen over a long period of time — even years — so you may not even notice that something is wrong. It’s a good idea to look in the mirror and inspect your gums once in a while. Are they pink in color? Firm? Tight around each tooth?
If you experience the following, your gums may be receding:
- Your teeth appear longer than usual
- You notice spaces growing between your teeth, especially at the base
- You are experiencing sensitivity or pain
- You can feel notches along between your teeth and gums (either with your tongue or when you run your finger along the gumline)
Many factors can cause or contribute to gum recession. They include:
- Periodontal disease, or inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria, is a leading culprit in gum recession
- Overzealous tooth brushing may injure your gums and cause them to recede
- A buildup of tartar due to poor oral hygiene may cause gums to pull away from the teeth
- Hormonal changes due to pregnancy or menopause have been shown to affect the gums
- Use of tobacco products may cause gum issues, including recession
- Clenching and grinding teeth puts pressure on the gums and may cause injury
- A crooked or misaligned bite may put damaging force on the gums
- Mouth piercings may rub and irritate gum tissue
Gum Grafting Is the Old Way
The conventional treatment for severe gum recession is a procedure called gum grafting. This involves cutting out a piece of healthy tissue from another part of your mouth and stitching that tissue over the receded parts of the gumline.
Gum grafting is perfectly effective, but, because it involves cutting and stitching, it takes time to heal. You will have to stick to soft foods for a week or two, avoid flossing or brushing the affected area, and may experience significant discomfort.
The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique Is the Better Way
Created by a dentist named John Chao, the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique repairs your receded gumline without the scalpels, incisions, or sutures of conventional gum grafting. It requires special training and certification, so not all doctors are qualified to perform it. Dr. McMahon has completed the certification process and is thrilled to offer the procedure here at Edgewood Dental Care.
In this groundbreaking procedure, we create a tiny pinhole using a needle. Through that hole, we use special instruments to gently loosen the gum tissue and rearrange it so it covers the affected area and restores your gumline to its proper place.
The technique has many advantages over invasive gum grafting:
- It is minimally invasive, involving no cutting, stitching, or harvesting graft tissue
- You will experience minimal bleeding after the procedure
- It is fast — one office visit is all it takes
- We can treat more than one area of the mouth at once
- You will recover quickly and with little pain or discomfort
- Immediate results: your smile will look fantastic when you leave our office!
If you think you may be experiencing gum recession and want to find out more about the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique, get in touch with Edgewood Dental Care to schedule an appointment. You may reach us through our online form or call our office in beautiful Edgewood, KY at 859-474-7830.