When your gums recede, the margin of the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth pulls up, exposing more of the tooth. The exposed portion is actually part of the tooth root. If you look at your teeth and see darker portions where the gums meet the teeth, your gums have receded up the tooth and the darker portion is the exposed root.
Gum recession can be a result of gum disease, whether early stage gingivitis or full-blown periodontitis. The gums also tend to recede as we age, when we clench or grind our teeth, and from overly aggressive tooth brushing.
You could assume gums that have receded a bit aren’t any big deal, especially if they are still surrounding the teeth and aren’t showing signs of gum disease. But gums that have pulled up on the teeth no longer protect the teeth to the necessary degree. This opens the teeth up to numerous problems:
When gum recession is present, the tooth’s root structure becomes exposed. This can create a number of problems, such as:
“I was searching for an implant dentist because I needed several implants. I wanted a doctor who was understanding and an office I could feel comfortable in. I found all that at Morris County Dental: Dr. Goldberg was compassionate, patient, and understanding of my particular needs. The office staff made me feel welcome and I looked forward to my visits. Dr. Goldberg’s attention to detail and his caring approach before and after treatment made me feel that I made the right choice and was in competent hands. I love my new smile, and I highly recommend this office!”
If you have gum recession it’s likely the tooth or teeth are having some sensitivity. This is because the root isn’t covered with protective enamel, as the visible portion (tooth crown) is. Also, your teeth will look longer.
Anyone with gum recession is a good candidate for the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique with Dr. Goldberg. This scalpel- and suture-free treatment uses healthy gum tissue and repositions it through a very small opening in the gums, rather than having to go through painful gum grafting. There is no limit to how many teeth can be addressed in one session by Dr. Goldberg.
The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique was developed by Dr. John Chao and it has dramatically changed how receding gums can be treated. Dr. Chao has trained Dr. Goldberg in the procedure. Here’s how the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST) is done.
The procedure starts by numbing the gums and tissue in the area. A tiny hole is made with a needle in the gums. Then a special dental instrument is placed through the pinhole and is moved back and forth with gentle movements to free the gum flap over the teeth. Once the gum tissue has been freed, it is guided down to a healthy, normal position covering the exposed root surface. Tiny collagen strips are placed through the pinhole into the gums. These help to stabilize the gums in their new position.
The pinhole method involves no incisions or sutures. The pinhole usually heals in just one day.
The changes made by Dr. Goldberg to your gums are permanent, but this doesn’t mean this is a cure for gum disease. Gum recession can be caused by gum disease, but it isn’t the cause of gum disease. Treating and reversing gum disease will likely involve other treatments such as root scaling and root planing. Gingival pockets need to be addressed. Diseased gum tissue may need to be removed.
There is a slight risk of infection, but it is very low because the pinhole made by Dr. Goldberg to pull the gums downward heals very quickly. Otherwise, there aren’t really any other risks. This contrasts with gum grafting, which presents :
The procedure is not time intensive. It can take just an hour or so, depending on the number of teeth with gum recession.
This procedure may seem as if it would be traumatic — moving the gum tissue from inside the gums — but it isn’t. The procedure simply frees the gum tissue that has pulled upward, and then brings it back down to the proper position. There really isn’t any recovery. Patients can return to work after their procedure, if they choose. But you may want to give it one day. The pinhole closes usually in one day. Your gums will have some soreness where the tissue was freed, but this pain is not acute and can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Usually, gum recession treatment includes the use of donor tissue or even grafting soft tissue in an effort to build out the gum line. The tissue is typically sutured into place and eventually joins with the existing gum during the healing process. Although that traditional gum grafting treatment has proven to be effective, comparable results (with a better patient experience) can be achieved with the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique.
Your gums will be back in the proper position, covering the tooth root. Your teeth won’t look overly long any more, and they won’t be sensitive because the root will no longer be exposed.
This is a permanent procedure. That doesn’t mean your gums can’t recede again if you have poor hygiene or are overly aggressive when you brush. Otherwise, your gums can stay in the proper location for the duration.