Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of pinhole gum treatment. It’s a relatively new technique now practiced by Dr. Wendy Willoughby DDS to correct receding gums. These are gums that pull away from the teeth due to gum disease, grinding the teeth, brushing the teeth too hard, the chemicals in tooth whitening or aging. Your hormones, your family history, and whether you smoke also play a part in why your gums recede.
You might not notice that your gums are receding because it happens slowly. One day you might look in the mirror and notice that your teeth look a bit longer than they did. Your teeth may also be more sensitive than they used to be. Receding gums set the stage for bacteria to invade pockets between the teeth and gums, and if you have gum disease, recession can make it worse. Eventually, you can lose bone, tissue and even a perfectly healthy tooth.
What Does Pinhole Gum Treatment Do?
This minimally-invasive treatment is an alternative to the painful gum grafting that people with receding gums used to have to endure. In this treatment, dentists take tissue from the roof of the mouth, which is uncomfortable and requires a long recovery time. Dr. Willoughby does not use grafts but uses the healthy gum tissue you already have.
The principle of pinhole gum surgery is simple. You are given local anesthesia in the dentist’s chair. Then, Dr. Willoughby uses a special needle to make a tiny hole in the gum near the tooth. She uses the instrument to loosen the gum tissue and gently pull it down over the part of the tooth that has receded. The gum is then secured with a tiny strip of collagen tucked inside the pinhole. There are no flaps, no incisions and no stitches because your natural clotting process will keep everything in place. Better yet, you will be able to see the results right away.
Your recovery time after pinhole gum treatment is considerably shorter than it would be if you had traditional gum grafting. The amount of post-operative discomfort is much less, though Dr. Willoughby prescribes analgesics that you can take for a few days if needed.
Who Is a Candidate for Pinhole Gum Treatment?
People who can have pinhole gum surgery do not have very advanced gum recession and are in overall good health.
If your gums are receding and leaving your teeth sensitive and unattractive, set up a time to meet with Dr. Wendy Willoughby at Chestnut Family Dentistry in Asheville, NC. Pinhole gum treatment may be just the thing for you. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!