Pinhole Surgical Technique Independence, Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit MO
Our gums have an essential role to play in the health of our teeth. They cover the roots of the teeth to ensure they are well-protected. However, over time, a condition known as gum disease can develop and sometimes result in gum recession. When this happens, the position of the gum line moves up the tooth; rather than covering the dental roots sufficiently, the tissue recedes and is no longer the healthy gum line that is required.
What are the symptoms of gum recession?
Gum recession can often be seen if you check your mouth in a mirror; the gum line will appear to be higher than it used to be and the teeth roots may be visible.
In addition to visible changes to teeth, one of the first symptoms you may notice is that your teeth become more sensitive - this happens as the roots are losing their protective shield and are becoming exposed to temperature and other elements. You may also find that teeth begin to feel looser in your mouth. Soreness and inflammation along the gumline are also common. Finally, bleeding while brushing your teeth or flossing can also be symptoms of gum recession or even gum disease itself.
What are the causes of gum recession?
Gum recession has a number of different causes, including, but not limited to, the following:
Excessive or vigorous tooth brushing. While brushing your teeth is obviously incredibly important for overall oral health, if the gums are brushed too aggressively, the tissue can begin to wear away and result in recession.
Periodontal disease. Pre-existing gum diseases such as gingivitis, can eventually result in gum recession.
Health conditions. Some health conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, can make gum recession more likely.
Teeth grinding (bruxism). If you grind your teeth regularly or at night, this can cause wear on the gum tissue which can eventually cause the gums to begin to recede.
Inherited genetic factors. Unfortunately, some individuals are more likely to develop gum recession regardless of lifestyle factors and commitment to oral hygiene.
Why is gum recession problematic?
Gum recession can cause two distinct issues. The first is esthetic in nature. When gums recede, the teeth appear to be much longer than they “should” be - which may affect confidence in your smile.
The second concern is medical. The role of the gums is to protect the roots of the teeth and enhance stability. When the gum line recedes, this protective and stabilizing influence is diminished. Over time, gum recession can result in a higher incidence of bacterial infections, periodontal disease, and even tooth loss.
As a result, if you are experiencing gum recession, seeking treatment is important. Over recent years, a particular type of surgery - known as the pinhole surgical technique - has risen to prominence, and is a very effective treatment for gum recession.
Introducing the Pinhole Surgical Technique
Conventionally, gum recession was treated with a type of surgery known as gum grafting surgery. However, gum grafting has significant issues for patients due to its relatively invasive nature. Gum grafting involves taking tissue from other parts of the mouth (most commonly, the roof of the mouth) and then grafting this tissue onto the receding gum. This meant that multiple incisions had to be made to complete the surgery, and that stitches had to be used to keep the newly-moved tissue in place during recovery.
The pinhole surgical technique is much simpler, not least because no grafts need to be taken from other parts of the mouth. Here’s how it works:
A local anesthetic is used to numb the treatment area.
A very small incision (roughly the size of a pinhole - hence the name of the surgery) is made just above the teeth that are affected. The purpose of this hole is to help loosen the gum tissue.
The existing gum tissue is then moved, using specialist tools, to cover the exposed dental root as much as possible.
Small strips of collagen can then be placed inside the pinhole-sized incision; these strips prevent the need for sutures, and help to support the tissue and assist with the healing process.
The benefits of the pinhole surgical technique
In addition to effectively treating gum recession - and thus preventing tooth decay and infection - pinhole surgery offers many additional benefits, as we have outlined in more detail below.
Faster recovery time. The pinhole surgical technique requires smaller - and fewer - incisions than gum grafting, and no stitches are required to promote healing. These facts help to ensure that recovery time is far shorter, and there is usually far less bleeding, than is found with gum grafting surgeries.
Rapid results. Pinhole surgery is very effective, and the results - and the benefits that they can provide - are often instant.
Shorter procedure lengths. The pinhole surgical technique can be performed very quickly; a full arch, for example, can often be completed in under an hour.
Fewer procedures required. When opting for pinhole surgery, you should see full results relatively quickly - often within just a few surgeries. This short time frame is achievable due to the fact that several teeth can be treated at once. In contrast, with traditional gum grafting surgery, each tooth has to be treated individually over the course of several different sessions.
The recovery process
Aftercare is an important part of any dental procedure, and the same is true of the pinhole surgical technique. In addition to customized recovery advice, you will also be advised to:
Avoid eating foods that are particularly hard for around 24 hours after the surgery.
Tooth brushing should also be avoided, usually for around a day, in order to give the gums the opportunity to heal.
Standard painkillers that are available over-the-counter can be used if you experience any discomfort.
Suitability for the pinhole surgical technique
The pinhole surgical technique may well be the right gum recession treatment for you, especially if you are otherwise in good health and are committed to maintaining your oral health.
The pinhole surgical technique can be used to effectively treat gum recession, and if you wish to find out if this surgery may be suitable for you, please do not hesitate to contact us
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