What is Gum Recession?
When the gum tissue around the teeth starts to wear away or pulls back to the roots of the teeth, your teeth can become more sensitive and the receding gums can affect the quality of your smile. Gum recession can not only indicate the presence of gum disease, but also mechanical or functional problems that need to be addressed. Once the gums recede, they do not grow back; it is therefore important to prevent further recession of the gums. Without proper treatment, you may end up losing your teeth.
Since gum recession occurs so gradually, most people do not even realize they have receding gums until they can see the gaps or experience extreme tooth sensitivity. If your teeth appear longer than normal, it may be because the gums are pulled back and you can feel a notch or a small dent around the gum line. If you are noticing signs of gum recession, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. A dental professional can recommend a treatment plan that will prevent further gum tissue breakdown and take care of other oral health problems.
Treating Gum Recession with the Pinhole Surgical Technique
The Pinhole Surgical Technique PST™ was invented and patented by John Chao, D.D.S. and has been deemed a ‘breakthrough’ technique for gum recession and treatment options for receding gums.
Gum recession is just one of the signs of gum disease, but can also be caused by using the wrong tooth brushing technique or as a side effect of certain medications that increase the risk of periodontal disease. Traditional gum surgery and some orthodontic treatments can also cause gum recession because healthy tissue has to be removed to eradicate the infection. The Pinhole Surgical Technique PST™ may be an attractive alternative to gum grafting because it is a non-invasive procedure. Unlike gum grafting procedures, there is no cutting of the gum tissue involved.
Alloderm Gum Grafts
In addition to natural grafts from the patient, some doctors prefer to use graft material from a tissue bank or synthetic material. That is where Alloderm gum grafts come in! This method of treating gum recession does not involve relocating your own gingival tissue like the most common treatments, but it does require cutting and suturing on the affected gums while the tissue heals into place.
Connective Tissue Grafts
Connective tissue grafts are the most common form of gum grafts. They are used to treat root exposure around one or more teeth. During the procedure, the doctor will cut a flap of skin from the roof of your mouth and remove tissue from under the flap. The flap is then stitched back down. The excised tissue will then be stitched to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root. Over time, the attached tissue will grow together with the existing gum tissue, forming a healthier gum line around the tooth.
Free gingival grafts are similar to a connective tissue graft except that instead of cutting a flap to remove tissue underneath, a small amount of tissue is taken directly from the roof of the mouth. This tissue is then placed and attached directly to the gum area being treated. Doctors prefer this method for those who have naturally thin gums.