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
- Misaligned teeth
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.