Juan M. Carrillo, DMD
General Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Richmond, VA
People often underestimate the importance of healthy gums, and sometimes gum disease and gum recession occur so slowly that you don’t even notice until serious issues begin to arise. Receding gums can lead to a number of serious complications, not just for your gums but for your teeth, jawbone, and other oral tissues. Juan M. Carrillo, DMD, one of the most qualified dentists in the Richmond, Virginia, area, has specialized training in state-of-the-art surgical techniques used to treat gum recession. Call the office today or request an appointment online.
Gum Recession Q & A
What is gum recession?
Having receding gums doesn’t just affect your gums and oral tissues, it also puts your teeth and their roots at risk. Gum recession is when the thin layer of gum tissue that covers and protects your teeth begins to break down, pull back, or wear away.
This can continue until the roots of the teeth are exposed, and can create gaps or pockets between your teeth that are breeding grounds for decay and bacteria. If left untreated, gum recession can cause damage to the teeth, gums, and underlying bone, and can even lead to tooth loss.
Why does gum recession happen?
Your gums may begin to recede for a variety of reasons, including:
- Genetic predisposition
- Periodontal disease (gum disease)
- Aggressively brushing your teeth
- Inadequate dental care
- Hormonal changes, especially in women, like puberty, pregnancy, or menopause
- Tobacco use
- Clenching or grinding teeth
- Crooked or misaligned teeth
Any of these can cause your gums to recede over time. You may also be at risk if you have a tongue or lip piercing, as these can rub and irritate gum tissue until it begins to recede.
How is gum recession treated?
There are a variety of methods to treat receding gums, and you can discuss which one is right for you with Dr. Carrillo.
Mild recession can often be treated with a deep cleaning of your teeth, called a scaling and root planing treatment, that can remove plaque and tartar below the gum line and begin to restore healthy gum tissue. In more serious cases, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Carrillo is an expert in surgical solutions to gum recession and can offer regenerative surgeries like soft-tissue grafts to his patients. He may also recommend the Pinhole® Surgical Technique.
What is the Pinhole Surgical Technique?
Dr. Carrillo is also one of the few dentists in the area with the training to perform the highly specialized Pinhole Surgical Technique that combines the best components of other techniques used to treat receding gums.
In this procedure, a small pinhole is created in the gum tissue near the tooth root, which is then stretched toward the tooth itself to prevent the gum from receding any farther. Many treatments for gum recession involve the gums being sutured into place, but the Pinhole Surgical Technique uses collagen bands to hold the gum in place and promote faster healing. The process aims to create new, healthy gum tissue as quickly as possible.
This procedure is much less invasive than alternative surgical treatments, and it can offer similar or better results in just a single visit as opposed to several. The procedure is so quick and easy compared with other gum surgeries that it’s sometimes known as the “lunchtime gum lift.”
If your gums are beginning to recede, call the office today to make an appointment, or make one online with the scheduling tool.