The Pinhole Technique Can Correct Your Gum Recession without Surgical Grafting

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The Pinhole Technique Can Correct Your Gum Recession without Surgical Grafting

If you are of a certain age, you probably have experienced some symptoms of gum disease. Most Americans over 55 have gum disease or its predecessor form of gingivitis. Left untreated, gum disease can eventually lead to tooth loss, as gum tissue is compromised. One of the most obvious signs of gum disease is gum recession. As bacteria colonize the pockets below the gum line, tissue is slowly destroyed—leaving less gum tissue to safely cradle and stabilize the teeth.

In the past, the only way to restore gum tissue was through a gum tissue graft. During a graft, soft tissue is removed from another part of the mouth, usually the palate, and is surgically grafted to the recessed gums. This complex procedure requires surgery and a considerable healing period. With the pinhole surgical technique, however, gum tissue can be restored in a single afternoon, with no lasting pain or sensitivity.

At Smiles 4 Grant Park, Dr. Abbey Lee is pleased to provide her patients with a far less invasive procedure to restore gum tissue and protect your teeth for years to come. Call our Atlanta, GA dental office at 404-328-7177 to learn more or set up an appointment.

Why Gum Recession Should Be Treated

If the first signs of gum disease are treated with regular deep periodontal cleanings, it is possible to keep symptoms to a minimum and reduce damage to the gums. However, once gum tissue is lost, patients should seek treatment; continued loss of tissue can leave tooth roots vulnerable to decay and tooth loss.

Most people don’t realize this, but tooth roots do not have enamel to protect them from bacteria. Our teeth (the crowns) are very resistant to bacteria because of their thick layer of enamel. Without enamel, roots are subject to decay below the gum line, which can advance faster and is harder to treat.

If not treated, recessed gums can more easily lead to further tissue damage, bringing you one step closer to tooth loss.

Signs You May Have Gum Recession

If you’ve ever felt sensitivity at the gum line when brushing or flossing your teeth, this may indicate the start of gum recession. You may also notice your teeth appearing “longer” that they used to. This is where the expression “long in the tooth” comes from, as older people tend to have recessed gums, due to gum disease. Another sign of gum recession may be sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages specifically at the gum line.

How the Pinhole Technique Works

Before the procedure, Dr. Lee will use a local anesthetic to numb the teeth and gums. No general anesthesia is needed. Using a very small, wire-thin tool, Dr. Lee will get under the gum tissue and gently pull it downwards until it covers the exposed tooth root. The pinhole procedure gets its name from the very small tool used, and it leaves no significant tissue damage, as a scalpel would.

One of the benefits of this treatment is that multiple teeth can be treated at once. Depending on your needs, we may be able to treat an entire arch of teeth in about 90 minutes or so, or the entire mouth in about three hours.

After the procedure, you may feel some soreness after the anesthetic wears off, but this should not last long and can usually be controlled with over-the-counter painkillers, such as Advil and Tylenol. You may need to treat the gums with cold packs to avoid inflammation for the next 24 hours, but this is not always necessary.

The pinhole technique for restoring gum tissue:

  • Is faster than gum graft surgery
  • Can treat multiple teeth in one session
  • Requires no cutting or sutures
  • Requires no healing period
  • Involves no tissue grafting

Overall, the process is much easier on the patient, and is far easier to recover from. Visit Dr. Lee to learn more about the pinhole technique. Call our Atlanta, GA dental office at 404-328-7177 to set up an appointment or request an appointment online.

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