Ouch! Your dental hygienist just told you you have receding gums-NOW WHAT?
What is gum recession?
Gum recession refers to the loss of gum tissue along the gumline. This occurs as a result of periodontal disease (gum disease), the natural aging process, aggressive tooth brushing habits and teeth clenching or grinding.
When gyms recede, the root structure of the tooth becomes exposed. This means that tooth decay and other problems can affect the teeth along the gumline and beneath it. Since healthy gums are essential for a healthy mouth, getting gum recession treated is important for extended dental health.
Is this a common problem?
Yes. Many studies show greater than 50% of adults have some degree of receding gums. Most people don’t know they have gum recession because it occurs gradually and is often painless. Generally, the first signs of gum recession are tooth sensitivity, a tooth looks longer than normal, or often a notch can be felt near the gum line.
What are my options for treatment?
If the gum recession is treated early when the problem is minor, changing oral hygiene methods like aggressive tooth brushing habits or getting a special cleaning called scaling and root planing at the dentist’s office may be all that is needed. However, if the gum recession is more advanced, then the dentist will often recommend a gum tissue grafting procedure known as a connective tissue graft or a free gingival graft to correct the problem. In a gum graft surgery a piece of tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth and grafted (stitched) over the teeth with gum recession.
What is Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™?
Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™ or the Pinhole Surgical Technique™ (PST) is a new and patented procedure developed by Dr. John Chao that offers significant advantages over traditional gum grafting techniques to repair receding gums.
First, it is less invasive because it doesn’t require any cutting or stitching – no tissue is cut out of the roof of the mouth. Second, healing time is much shorter. With PST most patients need only one day of healing compared to traditional gum grafting which usually takes about three weeks to heal and being on a very restricted soft or liquid diet. Third, treatment time is much shorter. With Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation 4-6 teeth can be treated in the same time it would take to do one tooth with traditional grafting. This means less time in the dental chair saving you time and money. Fourth, Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation is effective. The natural thought would be that it must not be as effective as traditional grafting if it takes less time and heals faster. Not so! PST has proven itself to be just as effective, if not more so.
Dr. Ryan S. McNeil, D.D.S., at Midvale Family Dental PC, is the first and only dentist in Utah currently trained and licensed to perform the Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation™ procedure. If you would like to learn more about this procedure or find out if you are a candidate, please visit our website www.utahsmiledocs.com or call to schedule a Free Consultation at 801-255-4555.