You may think your dentist’s main priority is keeping your teeth white and cavity free, and that’s a big part of the job. However, overall oral health is the real goal. And because your gums help provide the environment your teeth need to remain healthy, it’s only natural for your dentist to focus on your gums during an exam or procedure.
Receding gums are often a signal of periodontal (gum) disease which, at its most advanced stage, can result in tooth loss and jawbone destruction. Dr. Vilderman offers a variety of treatments designed to effectively combat periodontal disease, including a minimally invasive procedure known as pinhole gum rejuvenation.
It can help restore gum tissue that’s damaged by periodontal disease and other issues without the pain and lengthy healing time often associated with traditional gum grafting methods. She’s happy to explain what makes this innovative gum rejuvenation technique so popular.
Healthy gums fit snugly around the base of your teeth and form a barrier that helps prevent decay-causing bacteria and debris from coming in contact with underlying structures such as your teeth’s roots.
Plaque and tartar buildup can result in irritated, red, and swollen gums that pull away from your teeth, creating pockets for bacteria to grow and multiply. These are symptoms of periodontal disease and may eventually cause your gums to recede as gum tissue dies.
When your gums recede, they expose more of your tooth’s surface to harmful bacteria, which can eventually cause complex problems such as cavities below your gum line and other serious dental issues.
Other factors that may cause your gums to wear away or recede include brushing too hard, the natural aging process, and a misaligned bite. Regardless of the underlying cause, gum tissue that’s receded will not regrow on its own.
Traditional methods for restoring your natural gum line require tissue grafting, which is a painful and often less-than-effective surgical procedure. But the pinhole technique uses only a tiny hole to reposition your gum tissue and collagen strips to hold it in place until healing occurs.
Unlike traditional tissue grafting, which limits the number of teeth we can treat at one time, pinhole rejuvenation allows the treatment of many teeth at once, as many as you desire. It can take a year to complete the traditional grafting process, but the pinhole technique can be completed with one or two visits.
Other advantages include less postoperative pain, no need for stitches, and a quicker healing time. It’s a very effective method for restoring gum health and preventing further gum loss.
There are a few limitations when it comes to the pinhole method. If you’re experiencing periodontal disease, we must treat that first, so that you’re free of inflammation or active disease before the procedure. Dr. Vilderman can examine your teeth and gums to assess if the pinhole technique will work for you.
In some cases, bone loss may already be too great to provide the support necessary to cover tooth roots.
The main goal is always to prevent gum disease before it begins with routine dental exams, appropriate flossing and brushing techniques, and habits that promote oral health, such as a nutritious diet. Regardless of your oral health issues, however, there are many treatments available to help halt the progression of periodontal disease, reduce your discomfort, and improve your smile.