When the gum tissue that surrounds your teeth wears away or pulls back, it’s called gum recession. When gum recession occurs, the root of your tooth becomes exposed. More of the tooth is exposed to decay and other problems. It can affect the area below your gumline.
At Contemporary Dentistry & Implantology in Peabody, MA, we can keep your gums healthy with regular, routine dental exams. If you already have gum disease, Dr. John Argeros is a certified Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique clinician who can treat your gum recession with a scalpel-free, suture-free procedure.
Your gums act as a seal to prevent food from settling in between your teeth and allowing bacteria to do damage. When the gums recede, it opens up spaces between teeth and between the teeth and the gumline.
Gum disease occurs as we age, no matter what, even in a healthy mouth. But there are other reasons it can happen.
Why Do Gums Recede?
There are several reasons that gums might recede, including:
- Periodontal disease (gum disease). Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession. The bacteria in gum infections destroy tissue and supporting bone that hold your teeth in place.
- Irregular or abnormal tooth position. A tooth might protrude because your teeth were too crowded when it grew in. As a result, you’ll have inadequate jaw bone covering the tooth’s root.
- Genetics. Studies indicate that 30 percent of the population may be predisposed to gum disease. Thin and fragile gums could just be something that runs in your family.
- Insufficient dental care. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, you make it easier for plaque to form. Then that plaque forms tartar, a hard substance that can build on your teeth and only be removed by a professional dental cleaning.
- Teeth grinding. When you grind or clench your teeth, it puts extra force on them, which can also cause gums to recede.
- Misaligned bite. When your teeth don’t come together evenly when your mouth is shut, it can put a lot of force on the gums and bones.
- Aggressive tooth brushing. If you brush your teeth the wrong way or too hard, it can cause tooth enamel to wear away, which leads to gum recession. Also, using a toothbrush with too-hard bristles can irritate the gums, leading to infection.
- Hormones. Women’s hormones fluctuate during their life in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. These hormone fluctuations can make gums more vulnerable to receding.
- Tobacco use. Tobacco increases the chance of plaque forming on the teeth.
When minor gum recession is ignored, it will continue and it’s likely that you’ll experience bone loss around the teeth.
Traditional Gum Recession Treatment
If recession is due to periodontal disease, the first step of treatment would involve a special kind of cleaning called scaling and root planing. For many patients, this treatment can help stop periodontal disease.
If the recession is further along, traditionally dentists use gum grafting to repair and rebuild the gumline. This involves adding donor tissue or soft tissue grafts to the gumline. The tissue has to be sutured in place so it will join with the existing gum tissue as it heals.
The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique
The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique was invented by Dr. John Chao. It’s a scalpel-free and suture-free technique.
The benefits of this surgical technique include:
- No sutures required
- No cutting or invasive surgeries
- Rapid recovery
- Minimal discomfort after treatment
To perform the procedure, Dr. Argeros will use a needle to make a tiny hole in the affected gum issue. Through that pinhole, he’ll use instruments specifically designed for the procedure to gently loosen, expand, and lift gum tissue to where it covers the exposed tooth root.
When the gums are corrected, he’ll place tiny collagen strips inside your mouth to help stabilize your gums. There are no sutures required to hold the gumline in the new position. The pinhole heals very quickly.
Make An Appointment
Healthy gums are essential for a healthy mouth. It’s important to come to us for your routine dental exams. We recommend at least every six months.