Over the past years, the only treatment for receding gum has been gum grafting that involved extracting skin from the top of the mouth and grafting it to the gums. This process takes time to heal, and it involves a lot of pain. There is a new and better solution for receding gum, which is known as pinhole gum rejuvenation surgery. This method is less traumatic and invasive, and it is safer compared to gum grafting.
Pinhole gum rejuvenation is only available using new technology and is only performed by very few dentists. We at La Puente Advanced Dentistry are among the few dentists offering pinhole gum rejuvenation treatment for receding gums. We are at the forefront of providing our clients with practical and comfortable dentistry at all times in La Puente.
What is Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation?
Pinhole gum rejuvenation is a treatment used to cover receding gums. Unlike gum grafting, this technique is autogenous graft-free, suture-free, and scalpel-free. It is a less invasive procedure that dentists use to save teeth and correct gum recession.
The dentist uses a needle to create a small hole. They then gently loosen the gum tissue using special instruments and advance the gum tissue over the exposed roots. The postoperative symptoms are minimal since there is no suturing or cutting involved.
Understanding Gum Recession
You have receding gum when your gum begins to move up (recede) from the top of the tooth. The major problem with gum receding is that it happens gradually, and most people do not realize it. Receding gums is a common gum problem, especially for people above 65 years. But that does not mean that age is the only cause of receding gums. Below are some factors that can lead to this condition.
Causes of Gum Recession
- Genes — You can gain many things from your parents’ genes, including gum disease. You may be more susceptible to gum recession and gum disease issues because of your genes. Statistics have shown that a third of those who suffer from receding gums have a genetic predisposition to gum recession, which means that no matter how careful and diligent you are with your oral hygiene and care, you may still have a root recession.
- Periodontal diseases —This is one of the major causes of this condition. Bacteria destroy the bone that supports every tooth and the gum tissue, which causes gum recession.
- Brushing too hard — Some people believe that brushing their teeth hard will make them cleaner. But overly vigorous brushing can lead to enamel loss and result in gum recession.
- Hormonal changes — The change in female hormone level during menopause or pregnancy can cause receding gums.
- Inadequate dental care — Failing to brush or floss your teeth properly can destroy the plaque on your teeth which is removed through professional dental cleaning and the build but can cause receding roots.
- Smoking — Smoking tobacco can affect your dental health in different ways. Those who use tobacco products have a sticky tooth plaque that is hard to remove and leads to gum recession.
- Tongue or lip piercing — Lip and tongue piercing pose a significant risk to your oral health. If the jewelry rubs and irritates the gum, they are likely to cause receding gums and severe oral infection if left untreated.
- Misaligned or crooked teeth — Often, patients with severe oral may find it hard to observe dental hygiene and cause gum infection. If you have a misaligned bite, you might also be causing too much stress on your teeth, making the roots recede.
- Clenching or grinding your teeth — Clenching or grinding your teeth can cause much stress on your teeth, making a root recession occur.
- Injury — If your gum tissue sustains direct trauma from a fall or dental procedure, gum recession may occur in the specific area.
Symptoms of Gum Recession
Some of the common symptoms of receding gums include:
- Long teeth — This is the most common symptom of gum recession. Most people say that their teeth are getting ‘longer’ while they are not becoming longer. When you have receding gum, the roots of your teeth become more visible, and you are likely to experience some discomfort while brushing your teeth.
- Loose teeth — When periodontal disease and bacteria from under your gum line, you may begin to have some loose teeth; this will likely cause gum recession. If left untreated, they may form ‘pockets.’ If pockets develop, it means that the bacteria has weakened the bone structure of your teeth, making them loosen.
- Exposed roots — When your teeth appear ‘longer,’ the roots become visible and sensitive to touch. If you notice that your roots are exposed, use a soft brush and brush with care to avoid more damage. You should also consult your dentist to help find a solution to the problem.
Other signs of gum recession include:
- Bad breath
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Pus between teeth and gum
- Swollen purple or red gums
Dangers of Gum Recession
Gum recession is not a joke, as many take it. If left untreated, it can cause serious oral health problems. Here are some of the dangers that receding gums can expose you to:
- Tooth loss — If gum recession is left untreated for long, the bone and gum tissue begin to deteriorate, and your teeth may start falling out. To avoid this, it is advisable to reach out to visit your dentist if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above will likely.
- Health Risks — If receding gums are not diagnosed and treated on time, they can make you prone to periodontal disease. Studies have linked periodontal diseases to heart diseases.
- Unsightly — Receding gums are very unattractive. This condition can be embarrassing and lower your self-esteem.
The Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Steps
The pinhole gum rejuvenation involves the following steps:
- Consultation — When you visit La Puente Advanced Dentistry, you will be pleased with how friendly and professional our staff is. The dentist will review your condition during the consultation and determine if gum rejuvenation is the best solution. They will then walk you through the procedure and tell you what is expected of you. If both of you are on the same page, you will be booked for the procedure on a different day.
- Treatment — The first step of the procedure is to clean the teeth area where treatment is needed. After cleaning, the periodontist will use the symptoms mentioned above local anesthesia to numb the procedure’s area. Then, the periodontist will then use a small size instrument to make a pinhole entry on the gum.
After creating a pinhole, the periodontist gently loosens the receding gum tissue from its bone using the gum rejuvenation equipment. The gum material is then glided to where it is supposed to be. The periodontist then slips various tiny collagen strips below the gum to ensure the tissue is correct. This treatment is effective and only takes one hour to complete.
- The recovery process —The results from this procedure are often instant and require little to no time off to recuperate. You may be surprised that the pinholes created may heal within a day. You may feel some discomfort during or after the procedure, but it should not be excessive. You can also eat after a few hours without any complications.
- Follow up — Once the procedure is complete, our dentist will book you in after a week or two to evaluate your gum condition. Although this procedure is less invasive and does not involve any major healing, it is important to ensure that you are happy and satisfied with your new gum.
Although the healing process is invasive, there are various aftercare practices that can make your healing process easier. These practices include:
- Not brushing your teeth during the first 6-8 weeks of healing —It is advisable only to floss or Waterpik your teeth (especially around the surgical area) until the gum has fully healed.
- Not to interfere with the healing process by licking — running your tongue around the surgical area can cause infection in the specific area and slow your healing process.
- Do not chew in the surgical area — It is advisable to chew on the opposite side of the surgical area to prevent pain or more damage to the area. Sharp, hard, crunchy, or sticky foods should be avoided at all costs.
- Do not pull on your stitches — If at any point your stitches loosen up, you are not supposed to pull them out. If possible, cut the loose end with sharp, sterilized scissors or visit the dentist’s office to have them trimmed.
- Do not exercise — You should avoid physical exercises or any other vigorous physical movement for at least three days after the pinhole gum procedure. Get plenty of rest and resume ordinary activities whenever you are comfortable. In other words, allow yourself sufficient time to recuperate.
- Sensitivity to cold drinks is normal to experience some cold sensitivity for about six weeks or a little longer after the procedure.
- Apply ice pack on the cheek — For the first 48 hours, you should apply an ice pack to the swollen cheek near the surgical area after every 20 minutes to ease the swelling.
- Do not smoke — for the first six weeks after the procedure, ensure that you don’t chew tobacco, smoke pipe cigar, or recreational marijuana.
- Do not spit or use any straws — it is advisable to avoid using straws and spitting until the surgical area is completely healed. This helps to prevent additional bleeding that can disrupt your healing process.
- Do not use wind instruments — Avoid snorkeling or scuba diving for up to six weeks after the procedure.
- Avoid sleeping with hands under the cheek where the surgery was done for the first few weeks after the procedure.
- Do not wear any appliances — unless the dentist has approved you to use appliances like bite guards or retainers; you are supposed to stay away from them until you have healed completely.
Swelling and Bruising After Surgery
You should expect some mild to moderate swelling or bruising for approximately three days after surgery and lasting about 3-4 days additional days.
What are the Benefits of Pinhole Gum Surgery?
Pinhole gum rejuvenation is the most contemporary and alternative method to conventional gum surgery. The modern dental world recommends it as well, for the following benefits:
- Pinhole gum rejuvenation treatment takes a shorter time than other traditional gum grafting methods. The surgery normally takes around 10-20 minutes per tooth
- Patients recuperate pretty fast. The pinhole incision is often gone in a day or two because no tissue is taken off the patient’s mouth
- The pinhole surgery technique is less painful compared to traditional gum grafting. Patients get back to normal within a few hours
- Several teeth can be treated in one sitting according to what the patient and the dentist find fit
- The patient's natural look of the gum is visible as soon as the procedure is done
- Pinhole gum surgery does not need grafting, incisions, sutures, or stitches
- The pinhole surgery technique is insignificantly invasive. This is a procedure that favors all patients across all ages (young and old)
- Pinhole gum surgery helps you save money and time
- Pinhole gum treatment does not require supplementary dental services to address receding gums
- The pinhole technique does not pose any damage or danger to your gum health
- It is a high success rate technique that has seen numerous patients opt for
- Pinhole surgery treatment is ideal for restoring a patient’s gums to healthier, more cosmetically pleasing conditions
- Pinhole surgery treatment is a procedure that doesn’t restrict the patient’s food intake
Who is Eligible for the Procedure?
Any patient that suffers from bleeding, sensitive or receding gums makes a good candidate for the pinhole surgery treatment (PST). However, you have to be free from any other periodontal diseases and inflamed gums. This means that your periodontist should do a thorough dental evaluation to ascertain the correct procedure for you. You should also be ready to embrace new hygiene practices to prevent future recurrence of receding gums.
Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation FAQs
Here are some of the most common concerns of patients regarding pinhole gum rejuvenation.
What can I do to prepare for pinhole gum surgery?
It is important to have a consultation with your dentist before PST to get the right directions to take before and aftercare requirements and address the cause of your gum recession.
How long does it take to recover from pinhole gum surgery?
With no cutting, stitching, or grafts enforced, you can expect slight swelling, ache, and bleeding. After the pinhole gum rejuvenation, treatment heals reasonably fast since the patient feels insignificant to no discomfort after the procedure is completely done.
Is pinhole gum surgery better?
Compared to traditional grafting gum treatment, this procedure provides prompt enhancement of the balance and aesthetic appearance of the patient’s smile that is tremendously efficient, as PST can treat several teeth in one sitting.
Should I have the procedure?
Anyone who has receding gums is an excellent beneficial candidate for a pinhole surgery procedure.
How painful is pinhole gum surgery?
PST should be a pain-free procedure because it is non-invasive and does not involve suturing; hence there should be minimal discomfort after the treatment.
How many times can you have pinhole gum surgery?
Generally, there is no limit to the number of teeth that can be treated in one session; some patients see the dentist once for this treatment, while others have several sessions depending on how many teeth the dentist is working on, on that visit.
What can I expect after the pinhole gum surgery?
Different people recover differently; even so, the recovery time ranges from a few hours to 48 hours. The holes in the patients’ gum heal pretty fast since this is not a surgical procedure. However, some patients experience minor irritation or tenderness for a few weeks while brushing their teeth.
How much does the pinhole gum surgery cost?
PST is considerably low-priced compared to the traditional gum grafting procedure due to the single visit that a patient has with the dentist.
Will my insurance cover the treatment?
Most insurances cover PST as it is a periodontal procedure; however, we recommend that patients contact their insurance providers before the treatment date. Besides, it is always good to know what documentation will be needed at the claim time.
Is pinhole gum treatment worth it?
Studies have shown that patients who have undertaken PST have positive comments and a very high satisfaction rate of the procedure’s outcome compared to those who took gum grafting.
Is Pinhole surgery permanent?
PST is a permanent gum line correction. Many patients experience very positive and encouraging outcomes all their life after the procedure. Conversely, patients may experience some slight changes as time goes by due to age or genetic factors.
Can my gum grow back after pinhole gum surgery?
It’s impossible to regrow receding gums once they are damaged; however, pinhole surgery treatment helps reallocate the healthy gum tissue that remains by pulling the gum line forward to cover the areas it once did.
Find Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Treatment Near Me
Untreated gum disease can lead to serious oral problems and cause you to lose your teeth. There are oral interventions that can help you regain your attractive smile and healthy teeth. At La Puente Advanced Dentistry, we offer an innovative Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Technique to treat infected gum tissue. If you have any concerns or questions on gum recession, call us today at 626-626-7075 for a free consultation if you are in La Puente, CA.