More than 40% of adults in the United States have gum disease and significant gum recession. In the past, the only way to deal with gum recession was to undergo painful, and typically expensive, oral surgery.
At the general and cosmetic dentistry office of Dr. Juan Carrillo in Richmond, Virginia, your uneven smile can be remodeled with the Pinhole® Surgical Technique. This is a minimally invasive procedure that repositions your gums on the surfaces of your teeth to provide for a more even gumline and a straighter smile.
The causes of receding gums
Receding gums can be caused by many things, including:
- Inadequate dental care
- Tooth brushing or flossing that is too aggressive
- Bruxism (grinding or clenching of the teeth)
- Periodontal disease (gum disease)
- Genetic predisposition or hormonal changes
- Tobacco use
- Lip or tongue piercings
Overall, the most common cause of gum recession is gum disease. Bacteria between the gum and the tooth causes small pockets to form as the infected gum pulls away from the tooth. The pockets become deeper and more numerous over time, and the gums recede, allowing your part of your tooth roots to become exposed.
If caught in the early stages, receding gums can be treated via deep cleaning, also commonly known as scaling and root planing. However, when gum recession is left untreated, it can lead to complications such as deeper infections, inflammation, and even tooth loss.
Pinhole gum surgery
Traditional gum recession surgery consisted of a dentist taking healthy gum grafts and suturing them to the recessed gum tissue. This procedure takes much longer and the healing time could range from 2-3 weeks or longer.
The Pinhole Surgical Technique treats gum recession without grafting or invasive treatment. Dr. Carillo makes a pin-sized hole in several spots along your gumline, then uses tiny dental tools to stretch and move healthy gum tissue up into an even gumline.
Instead of sutures, simple strips of collagen are used to hold the gums in place. The collagen promotes healing and the pinholes will close in about one day after treatment. Dr. Carillo discusses your diet and dental hygiene process for after the treatment, so your gums can heal as quickly as possible.
To learn more about the options available for gum recession, and to find out if you’re a good candidate for the Pinhole Surgical Technique, contact our office to book an appointment online or call 804-201-9459.