Pinhole Gum Surgery

As part of the soft tissue lining of the mouth, gums provide the seal around the teeth and the necessary support they need to be healthy. Simply put, they hold our teeth in place and if weakened by disease or recession could lead to severe issues like tooth decay or loss.

As part of your oral health, you need to care for your gums and act quickly if your dentist notices any recession. One of the more popular methods to treating gum recession is the state-of-the-art Pinhole Gum Surgery, and more specifically, the Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST). This safe and minimally-invasive procedure is a patient’s best weapon against gum recession.

Gum Recession

Gum recession is when the tissue surrounding teeth pulls back, leaving teeth exposed and less secure. When gums begin receding, they can be left vulnerable to the buildup of disease causing bacteria.

This is a common oral health problem that most people don’t even notice. It occurs gradually with the early symptom being increased tooth sensitivity. The one thing you can do to inspect your teeth is to note if any look longer than usual. It might sound silly but if you suspect this is true then consult with your dentist.

Gums recede for several reasons, including:

  • Genetic
    • Some people are prone to gum disease and recession. Unfortunately, if you have this predisposition, no amount of diligent oral care will stop your gums from receding. You will need to work with your dentist to create a plan tailored to your situation.
  • Misaligned Bite
    • When teeth do not cleanly meet they can put undo force on gums and bone, which can cause recession among other issues.
  • Hormone Related
    • During pregnancy and puberty, a woman can experience a fluctuation in their hormone levels causing their gums to be sensitive and possibly recede.
  • Aggressive Tooth Brushing
    • Believe it or not, incorrectly brushing your teeth can cause your gums to recede. To brush your teeth the right way, use a toothbrush with soft bristles and change the motion and angle as you brush. Take your time and be gentle.
  • Lip or Tongue Piercing
    • Jewelry, made from any material, can irritate gums and wear down the tissue.
  • Lack of Proper Oral Hygiene
    • If you don’t brush, floss or rinse with mouthwash often enough, plaque can evolve into tartar. This hard substance develops between your teeth, pushing gums back and can only be removed by undergoing professional cleaning sessions.
  • Cigarette Smoking
    • Smokers are prone to plaque on their teeth which is known to cause gum recession.
  • Teeth Grinding
    • Grinding your teeth tends to put so much stress on teeth that the gums gradually recede.

During your dental checkups, your dentist will inspect your gums to see if they are receding. If it turns out they are, then you will need to decide on a treatment.

Treating Gum Recession

To treat gum recession, patients are faced with two options:

  • Adopting a long-term maintenance plan where they would perform impeccable oral care to stop the condition from deteriorating.
  • Surgical correction via either gum grafting or the use of a pinhole.

If your gum recession isn’t severe or caught early enough, then it can be treated by a thorough cleaning performed by a hygienist. This cleaning involves scrapping plaque and tartar away and then inspecting the root to make sure it is not too exposed. In some cases, the patient could be prescribed antibiotics to treat any harmful bacteria. For more severe cases, a dentist might recommend gum surgery to repair the gums and avoid further recession.

Treatment isn’t mandatory so the choice belongs solely to the patient. It is important to know that waiting reduces the chance of effectively healing your gums and not acting at all will lead to the loss of teeth, which will result in a host of other oral issues like needing dental implants such as the All-On-4.

Gum Graft Surgery

Gum graft surgery is a common procedure that has helped millions of people. Until recent developments in dentistry, it was considered the most effective way to protect teeth and gums from recession. The surgery involves taking tissue from an area of the mouth and grafting it to the receding section. Typically, the 90-minute procedure includes these three steps:

  • The graft site of the patient is put under local anesthesia.
  • The graft is collected.
  • The tissue is grafted where the gum is receding.

The surgery can be painful but the recovery isn’t too lengthy. Most patients will be able to go home after the procedure but are required to exclusively eat soft foods like eggs, pasta, yogurt and cooked vegetables.

Pinhole Surgical Technique

The Pinhole Surgical Technique is a state-of-the-art procedure that has a high success rate in treating gum recession. It is an alternative for patients who fear that gum graft surgery is too invasive or painful.

PST involves a pinprick made by a miniscule needle in a patient’s gums. Using specialized tools, the gums are moved to where they provide the most coverage, essentially where they were before they receded. Collagen strips are placed into the hole. These keep the gums securely in place while your body produces its own collagen in your gums.

The benefits of PST include:

  • Minimally-invasive
  • There is barely any bleeding or pain compared to alternative surgeries
  • The results are immediate
  • The surgery does not require incisions
  • No sutures are necessary
  • Multiple teeth can be treated at once

Instantly, patients can enjoy a positive cosmetic difference from PST. Your gums will look better and your smile will be much improved. Of course, the main benefit is healthy gums that properly support teeth and cover the roots.

Gum Graft Surgery vs. PST

As noted, these surgeries differ quite a bit with respect to process, technique and technology. They are two entirely different operations so outside of what they’re trying to achieve they are hard to compare.

We recommend PST because it is minimally-invasive and we believe in its ability to help your gums and contribute to one’s complete oral health. Every patient has reported only minor discomfort and because it doesn’t require two surgical sites, like gum grafting does, the recovery is relatively easy. To ensure a proper and full recovery, we still urge patients to book a series of visits where we can perform a checkup to ensure that the procedure was a success.

Are you a Candidate for PST?

The quick answer to this is that anyone with receding gums is a candidate for this gum surgery. PST is the choice for people who want a quick procedure with minimal discomfort. It’s great for busy people who need the procedure but can’t afford to take additional time for postoperative care.

Best of all, you can be eating your favourite meal the same day.

Want to Learn More About PST?

If you have been diagnosed with receding gums, there is an easier way to treat the problem. We urge you to sit down with us so that we can tell you about PST and answer any of your questions. Book your appointment today and let’s see what’s right in your situation – we want to help you get your smile back in style!

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