If you have noticed sensitivity or swelling in your gums, it could be a warning sign of gum disease and your everyday oral habits could be the culprits. Brushing your teeth too hard, using a toothbrush with stiff bristles, and grinding your teeth not only damages them, it can also trigger gum recession.
Bleeding gums after brushing is another sure sign to take action. Gum disease typically starts in its early stages as gingivitis, where bacteria in plaque builds up and inflames the gums. Left untreated, gingivitis can spread below the gum line and evolve into periodontitis, a disease in which toxins break down the connective tissue holding your teeth in place. When pockets in the gums grow deeper it is likely your teeth will lose their grip and fall out, resulting in significant complications and expense.
If that wasn’t bad enough, gingivitis and periodontitis can increase the risk of even more severe afflictions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and pneumonia.
What Causes Gum Recession?
Research shows that genetics may be a cause of gum recession, especially if one or both parents experienced it as well. We can’t do anything about genetics but afflicted parents who seek immediate treatment can prevent passing the issue on to their children.
If you don’t brush your teeth enough, you are inviting all kinds of oral troubles. Brush twice a day at the very least, floss, and regularly rinse with mouthwash.
Smoking is bad, period. Aside from the obvious health effects, smoking can irritate your gums and cause plaque buildup.
These are just some of the instigators of gum recession and once they take hold, it’s time to consider treatment.
Similar to many health issues, the best course of action is early detection. Catching a problem before it gets serious allows time for accurate diagnosis and successful treatment, one of which is pinhole gum surgery. Let’s look closer at this popular and effective oral surgery.
The Pinhole Technique Explained
The pinhole surgical technique (PST) is a less invasive alternative treatment invented and patented by Dr. John Chao. The scalpel-free procedure is far less invasive than traditional grafting, using specialized instruments to correct gum recession.
Using a tiny hole made by a needle, receding gums are stretched to a healthy position, followed by placement of collagen strips into a pinhole in the gums to hold them in place, encouraging new tissue growth.
The PST procedure is typically completed in a short period of time, with no bleeding, swelling, or other pain. With no incisions or stitches, patients enjoy fast recovery time and see immediate cosmetic results.
Is Pinhole Gum Surgery Right for Me?
To determine if you are a good candidate for pinhole surgery, your dentist will likely start with alternative treatment methods to determine a plan of action. Some of these can be done at home, while others require at least one visit to your dentist.
Oral Antibiotics and Enzyme Tablets
Some forms of serious infection can be treated with aspirin-like tablets, or enzyme suppressants to block damaging enzymes from causing further gum infection.
Give Your Teeth a Deep Clean
A thorough, deep cleaning using specialized instruments to reach under the gum line is typically the first treatment choice. Your dentist might also suggest scraping away tartar from the gum line using a technique called scaling, or planing to smooth rough surfaces of your teeth.
Antiseptic Chips or Gels
Antiseptic chips are miniature particles inserted into pockets in your gum, which then slowly release medication to shrink the pocket. Gels are a spreadable medication which help alleviate infection.
Advantages of PST
In addition to a much shorter procedure duration and only mild pain, PST can treat the entire mouth in one sitting. Traditional tissue grafting surgery is limited by the patient’s available tissue and can take more than a year to treat the full mouth.
PST also results in a significant increase in root coverage from the gums after procedures and as a proven and successful medical treatment; the breakthrough technique is the preferred choice of patients and widely accepted by insurance carriers.
If you are concerned about gum recession or have questions about treatment options, call Albion Dental today at (626) 461-9535.