Tag Archives: Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique






If your teeth appear longer than they used to, chances are you have receding gums. There are several possible causes of receding gums, including poor oral hygiene, inflammation, or even lip piercings. But for people who are in good overall oral health and do not have any of the other risk factors, overzealous brushing is often the cause of their receding gums. At San Diego Periodontics, proper brushing technique is one of the first things we discuss with our patients who have receding gums, and that almost invariably leads to a conversation about the best type of toothbrush for teeth and gums. Read on if you’re curious to know more about the electric vs manual toothbrush for receding gums.

Electric toothbrush vs manual toothbrush for receding gums

 We always say the best toothbrush is the one you use properly and consistently. Some people prefer electric. Others prefer manual. Both can be used effectively to keep gums and teeth clean and healthy, as long as you use them twice daily, for 2 minutes at a time, taking care to reach every tooth. But what most people forget is that there’s no need to apply a lot of pressure. Whether you have an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush, the bristles will do their job. Gentle brushing is important for your tooth enamel and your gums. That’s key no matter which type of toothbrush you choose.

Electric toothbrush advantages

  • Varied range of motion helps to remove more plaque
  • Higher rate of brush movement than manual
  • Easier for those with limited mobility
  • Built-in 2-minute timer takes out the guesswork
  • More fun for kids
  • Pressure sensors offer reminders to be gentle on gums

Manual toothbrush advantages 

  • Effective for removing plaque and cleaning teeth
  • Easy to maintain and replace
  • Budget-friendly
  • Convenient for travel
  • Variety of head sizes, bristle firmness, and handle designs available
  • Conscientious brushing makes pressure adjustment easy

Electric toothbrush disadvantages

  • Requires electricity or batteries
  • Requires maintenance (charging or changing batteries, replacing the head, etc)
  • Inconvenient for travel
  • More expensive
  • Easy to add additional pressure and overbrush

Manual toothbrush disadvantages 

  • No timer to ensure proper duration of brushing
  • Higher likelihood of harsh brushing
  • No pressure sensors for gentle brushing reminders
  • More frequent replacement than electric toothbrush head
  • Difficult for those with dexterity problems

As we mentioned before, whether you use an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush, it’s important to avoid applying too much pressure. Harsh brushing with either type can wear down tooth enamel, expose the tooth roots, cause tooth sensitivity, and increase the chance of decay and infection. Once the gums recede, it can’t be reversed. But it can be stopped and it can be treated. If you have receding gums, come see us at San Diego Periodontics and Implant Dentistry today.

Get The Right Treatment For Receding Gums In San Diego

At San Diego Periodontics, we’re proud to offer The Pinhole Technique, a scalpel-free and suture-free restorative gum recession treatment that provides instant cosmetic improvement with minimal downtime. Dr. Kennie Kwok is Board Certified in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry and has earned certifications in The Chao Pinhole Technique as well as a range of other innovative techniques for optimizing oral health. For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kwok, give us a call at (619) 543-0905 today.

Can Receding Gums Grow Back by San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

Receding gums aren’t pretty. They disrupt the gum line, expose the tooth root, and cause the appearance of tooth elongation. But gum recession is more than just unattractive—it can also lead to severe oral health complications.  Unfortunately, once gums have receded, they will not grow back on their own. The good news is that there are treatments available that can help cover the exposed tooth root, restore the gum line, enhance your smile, and protect your oral health. Here’s what you need to know.

Problems with receding gums

Our gums are important for keeping our teeth healthy. Unlike the crown of the tooth, the root is not covered with protective enamel. Instead, healthy gums fit snugly over the root to help hold the tooth in place and protect it from harmful bacteria. Damaged or unhealthy gums pull back away from the teeth, potentially leading to a number of dental complications and aesthetic issues. If left untreated, receding gums can cause:

  • Exposed tooth roots
  • Unappealing appearance of tooth elongation
  • Gaps between teeth and gums
  • Buildup of bacteria in hard-to-clean gaps
  • Increased risk of tooth decay
  • Increased sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Increased risk of gum disease
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth loss

Although treatment for receding gums is available, prevention is the best way to avoid the above dental issues. Consistent proper oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist will go a long way toward keeping your gums healthy. But insufficient oral hygiene is not always the cause of receding gums. 

What causes receding gums?

There are a number of different factors that can lead to gum recession. Some are in our control, such as smoking, and others are out of our control, such as genetics.  Whether your gums are receding and you want to stop the process, or your gums have not yet receded and you want to make sure they don’t, this list of potential causes is a great place to start thinking about which habits you can eliminate to better protect your gums. 

  • Gum disease
  • Aggressive brushing
  • Hard bristled toothbrush
  • Insufficient oral hygiene
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Naturally thin gum tissue (genetics)
  • Lip or tongue piercings
  • Ill-fitting partial dentures
  • Hormone fluctuations
  • Crooked teeth
  • Grinding and clenching teeth

Your dentist or periodontist will be able to help you understand the cause of your receding gums so you can treat existing conditions and make choices that support your oral health. Regardless of the specific cause of your receding gums, treatment is important for preventing further dental issues and complications. 

Treatment for receding gums

The best treatment for receding gums will depend on the severity of the gum recession. If your gums are receding, your dentist or periodontist may recommend one of the following treatments:

  • Deep cleaning 

Also known as scaling and root planing, this technique involves pulling back the gums to clean the surface of the tooth below the gums (scaling) and smoothing the tooth to discourage bacteria buildup (root planing). This treatment is best for mild cases, as it is mainly to prevent further gum recession. 

  • Soft tissue grafting

For more severe cases of gum recession, a soft tissue grafting procedure may be needed to harvest gum tissue from another area (often the roof of the mouth) in order to cover the exposed tooth root where the gums have receded.

  • Pat Allen Tunneling Technique

This minimally invasive surgical grafting technique involves the creation of a small tunnel around the tooth with gum recession.  Human donor tissue material is inserted into the tunnel, which is then closed with a special suturing technique. 

  • Chao Surgical Pinhole Technique

Another minimally invasive procedure, the Chao pinhole technique is considered the best treatment for receding gums, as it involves zero incision, zero grafting, and zero suturing. The periodontist creates a pinhole in the gum and uses specialized instruments to loosen the gum away from the tooth, gently repositioning it to restore the gum line and cover the exposed tooth root. The improvement is instant, and the recovery time is minimal.  

Treatment for receding gums at San Diego Periodontal and Implant Dentistry

Whether you’re concerned about the unappealing aesthetics of receding gums or not, the associated health complications should be avoided.  Your oral health does not just affect your teeth and your mouth—it affects your whole body.  Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of serious health conditions including stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. If your gums are receding, let us help.  For more information on the Chao Pinhole Technique or other treatments for receding gums, give us a call at (619) 543-0905 today. 

Best Treatment For Gum Recession by San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

When most people hear the words “healthy smile,” they imagine clean, radiant teeth—not gums. Of course, we don’t want our gums to take the spotlight when we smile, but they do play a major role in keeping our teeth bright and beautiful.  Receding gums call attention to themselves, not only by lengthening the teeth and causing visual imbalances in the gumline, but also by causing tooth sensitivity and discomfort. Receding gums don’t go away on their own, but treatment is available. 

There are a few different methods for treating receding gums, and the best one for each case depends on several factors, including the cause of the gum recession and the severity of the problem. While there is no single treatment that’s right for every case, The Chao Pinhole Technique is often preferred by periodontists and patients when appropriate. 

The importance of healthy gums

Gums are the soft tissue that encase the teeth, teeth roots, and jaw bones.  They provide the support structure that helps to keep the teeth in place, and their tight seal acts as a protective barrier against bacteria. Healthy gums are crucial for maintaining not only oral health, but also overall health. Damaged gums, receding gums, or diseased gums increase the risk of tooth sensitivity, toothaches, tooth decay, loose teeth, painful chewing problems, and even serious health complications including stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.  The best ways to keep gums healthy are to floss daily, brush twice a day, stop smoking, and visit your dentist regularly.  Unfortunately, even when you do these things consistently, your gums may still recede. If they do, it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible.

What are receding gums and what causes them?

Receding gums, also known as gingival recession, involves the loss of gum tissue. The gums drawback or wear away, exposing the tooth root, which causes tooth sensitivity and results in gaps where bacteria collects and is unreachable with a toothbrush or dental floss. Receding gums can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Gum disease
  • Aggressive brushing
  • Genetics (thin gum tissue)
  • Teeth grinding 
  • Lip or tongue piercings that rub against the gums
  • Smoking
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Trauma

Once lost, gum tissue does not grow back, but The Chao Pinhole Technique can build up your gums and restore your oral health, with very little discomfort and minimal downtime. 

The best treatment for gum recession: The Pinhole Technique

It used to be that a gum graft was the only way to restore gum health after recession. While the gum graft does have a very high success rate, it is more invasive and requires more downtime than the revolutionary and minimally invasive Pinhole Technique.  

The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique is a scalpel-free, suture-free gum recession treatment for correcting receding gums.  When you come in to San Diego Periodontics and Implant Dentistry for your procedure, Dr. Kwok will apply a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort. He will then use a syringe needle to make a tiny hole in the healthy gums at the treatment site. This loosens the tissue, allowing Dr. Kwok to gently reposition the gums, cover the exposed tooth root, and restore the gum line. He then places tiny resorbable collagen membrane strips in the pinhole to help stabilize the gum tissue during the healing process. In most cases the small entry point is healed within a day. And as long as the cause of the gum recession has been eliminated, you can continue to enjoy your beautifully restored smile for years to come. 

Other treatments for receding gums

As mentioned above, the Pinhole Technique may not be appropriate in every case, but there are a few other options that can reattach or restore gum tissue around the teeth. These include:

  • Scaling and root planing
  • Connective tissue graft 
  • Pat Allen’s tunneling technique

There are multiple gum recession treatment options to choose from, and a consultation with Dr. Kwok is the best way to help determine which treatment is right for you. 

Do you have Receding gums? Visit San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

At San Diego Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, you’re in the hands of Dr. Kennie Kwok, a highly experienced and compassionate periodontist with a commitment to excellence. If you’re concerned about receding gums, he can help. Dr. Kwok is Board Certified in Periodontology and Implant Dentistry and has earned certifications in The Chao Pinhole Technique and a range of other innovative techniques for improving oral health and setting smiles free. 

For more information about Dr. Kwok or any of our services or procedures, give us a call at (619) 543-0905 today. 

San Diego patient that got treatment for receding gums with the pinhole surgical technique

Receding gums, also known as gingival recession, are a prevalent problem, especially in older individuals. In fact, a study found that 88% of people over 65 have gum recession in at least one tooth. The traditional method for treating gingival recession is soft-tissue grafting, but many patients are afraid of the treatment because of the notion that grafting can be very painful. This reluctance has sparked innovation, leading to the Pinhole Surgical Technique in San Diego to treat gum recession.

What are Receding Gums?

Gingival recession is when the gums wear down or pull back from the tooth. The receding gums reveal more of the tooth, and in some cases, this leaves the root of the tooth exposed. This can lead to the tooth being overly sensitive and weaken the gum tissue surrounding the tooth.

Normally we need strong, firm, non-moving gum tissue to surround and protect our teeth, but the weak tissue caused by gingival recession can create pockets of space between the gumline and the tooth. These little pockets are magnets for bacteria that can eventually lead to serious gum disease. If gum recession is not corrected and treated, the structure of the teeth and tissue around it can be catastrophically damaged, leading to tooth loss.

What is the Pinhole Surgical Technique?

The Pinhole Surgical Technique may be a treatment option for those with gingival recession, offering a minimally invasive alternative to more complicated gum recession procedures that features grafting or sutures. By combining aspects of the coronally positioned flap technique and the tunnel technique, the Pinhole Surgical Technique may be an efficient and effective way to treat gum recession.

How Does the Pinhole Surgical Technique Treat Gum Recession?

As the name of the treatment suggests, the Pinhole Surgical Technique begins by creating a small pinhole into the movable gum tissue located near the tip of the tooth root where the gum recession is present. Once the pinhole is made, a device is inserted through the hole to stretch and peel the gums back, pushing it towards the crown of the tooth.

Once in place, instead of using stitches to keep it there, the Pinhole Surgical Technique uses collagen strips, inserting the strips through the pinhole. The strips are then used to hold the gum tissue in place, creating the new tissue support and assisting in the healing process. The healing period allows the body creating a new gum tissue attachment to the new location.

What are the Advantages of the Pinhole Surgical Technique?

The primary advantage of the Pinhole Surgical Technique is that multiple teeth can be treated in one sitting. When using more traditional treatments for gingival recession it may require multiple grafting sessions if you have a recession on multiple teeth. Pinhole Surgical Technique can be used to treat the entire mouth in just one sitting. It also makes for a less painful recovery and is a faster procedure than grafting.

The Pinhole Surgical Technique is a Great Way to Treat Gum Recession

The Pinhole Surgical Technique is a minimally invasive, less painful, and faster way to treat receding gums then the more traditional methods, making it a great alternative to treat gingival recession. If you would like to request a consultation for gum recession or other dental issues, give us a call at (619) 543-0905.  

For additional information, watch this video providing a visual representation of how the procedure works.