Having healthy gums is crucial when it comes to maintaining a healthy smile. If you’ve noticed your gum lines receding it’s important to have that addressed as quickly as possible. The Pinhole Surgical Technique is a minimally-invasive alternative to gum grafts that Dr. Wendy Willoughby, DDS, of Chestnut Family Dentistry is proud to offer from our office in Asheville, NC.
How Can Pinhole Surgical Technique Restore Your Gum Line?
How It Works
While we call it the Pinhole Surgical Technique, or PST, you may have also heard of it referred to as gum rejuvenation. This treatment was developed by the talented Dr. John Chao to give patients an alternative to more invasive graft treatments. While traditional treatments may involve grafting tissues from one part of the mouth to another, this treatment uses a small needle to create a hole in your gum tissue.
Once this little hole has been made, the gum tissue can be gently loosened with the help of specialized instruments. Then the tissue can be guided to cover and protect any exposed part of the root structure of your teeth. To keep your gum line in place while it heals, collagen is used to fill the spaces.
Benefits of This Treatment
When gums recede, the root structure of your teeth may get exposed. This can contribute to tooth decay along and beneath the gum line. When the root structure is covered back up again, it can provide lasting protection for your smile.
In addition to restoring the gum line, this treatment also has the benefits of being minimally invasive, offers immediate cosmetic benefits, and boasts significant longevity.
Is This a Permanent Treatment?
The goal of this treatment is to last for the long run, so it certainly can be permanent. To give your treatment the best chance possible of being a permanent solution, you’ll have to give it a helping hand by taking good care of your oral health. It’s important to stay on top of daily brushing and flossing, as well as your routine professional cleanings.
FAQ About Receding Gums
1. Why Are My Gums Receding?
Gums are composed of soft tissues that are meant to cover your jaw bone and protect the sensitive roots of your teeth. Losing some of this tissue can lead to other issues besides decay, which can include tooth sensitivity or outright pain.
We all know gum recession is bad, which can lead to some people brushing or flossing too aggressively in hopes of preventing it. If you have a hard-bristled toothbrush and you go to town scrubbing hard against your gums, you could actually be damaging them. It’s safer to brush your teeth lightly for a longer span of time, rather than scrub hard for a short amount of time.
Another contributor to a receding gum line can be gingivitis, especially if it develops into periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a gum infection that can eat away at the gum’s soft tissue and even affect the bones supporting your teeth.
Sometimes It Boils Down to Bad Luck
If your gum line has sustained an injury, this can also be a contributor. However, with all these things in mind, sometimes patients have a genetic predisposition to developing gum issues, no matter how careful they are in preventing them.
Regardless of the possible cause, our team wants to see you get back on track to enjoy a healthier smile.
2. How Can I Tell if My Gums Are Receding?
The first sign you may notice when your gums begin to recede is your teeth being more sensitive to sugary or cold foods than normal. You may notice some visual changes such as inflammation, or that your teeth look like they’ve gotten discolored or grown longer. That discoloration or added length may be some of the roots of your teeth starting to show.
If you are finding blood after you brush your teeth, or notice a notch where your teeth and gums meet, those are also signs that it’s time to schedule a visit and get your gums looked at. If you catch it early, not only is treatment generally easier, but you may be able to avoid food particles getting stuck against the roots of your teeth.
3. How Do I Know if It’s Time for a Pinhole Surgical Technique Treatment?
If gum issues are caught early enough, they may be able to be treated with a good professional cleaning and possibly some antibacterial toothpaste. A professional cleaning will ensure any plaque buildup that is contributing to the issue gets resolved. If your gum issues are too far progressed for a simple cleaning to work, or you find there’s no improvement even when you’ve sought out professional cleaning, it may be time for the next step.
Our team would be happy to help by assessing your smile. We know coming into the dentist can be scary for a lot of people, which is why we strive to create a soothing and welcoming environment. The truth is, coming in as soon as you start to suspect an issue is always better than waiting, since the sooner you come in the more treatment options there generally will be available to you.
Get Your Consultation Scheduled Today
If you’re concerned about your gum health and want to learn more about your treatment options, reach out to our team at Chestnut Family Dentistry in Asheville, NC, today to set up your consultation.