Receding gums can make you awfully self-conscious about your smile since they can expose your tooth roots. But the problem goes way beyond cosmetic concerns. Gum recession also makes you more vulnerable to dental decay and other problems. If not treated, you can eventually lose teeth and bone.
The solution to this problem is typically a gum graft. We don’t blame you if you’re not exactly thrilled about that. At our office, though, you can receive a treatment called the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique. Dr. Chip Mercer is one of only a few dentists in the Arlington, TX who is certified in this technique.
If you have receding gums and want to know more about your options, call us today at 817-993-5541 to schedule a consultation.
In the meantime, let’s compare how the two processes work. To perform a gum grafting procedure, your dentist typically removes tissue from the roof of your mouth then stitches it to your gums to cover the recession. For a Chao treatment, your dentist makes a tiny opening (a “pinhole”} in your gums. Special equipment is then used to loosen tissue and gently move it into its proper place. The tissue is secured in place with collagen fibers.
Based on the descriptions of the two options, you can probably guess some of the advantages of the pinhole treatment:
- Less Time Needed – The Chao procedure is sometimes referred to as a “lunchtime gum lift” since it can often be completed during a typical lunch hour. In contrast, a graft involving more than a very small area will take longer.
- More Comfortable – A pinhole treatment doesn’t involve incisions. Instead Dr. Mercer simply makes pinprick-sized openings in your gums. So not surprisingly, there is no discomfort. You’ll be much more comfortable after your procedure too.
- Simple Recovery – With a graft, it’s normal to experience some bleeding, swelling, and bruising. You’ll need to be very careful brushing and flossing and stick to bland, soft foods for at least a week. A pinhole procedure allows you to resume your normal eating and oral hygiene within a day or two. Without incisions or stitching, your gums will also be less tender afterward and less prone to problems like infection.
- Natural Appearance – Tissue used for your graft may not be an exact color match. Plus, the grafted area will have a white appearance during the healing process. Since we simply reposition your existing gum tissue during the pinhole treatment, not move tissue from another area to your gums, your results will look totally natural.
Call us right away at 817-993-5541 if you notice teeth appear longer than usual or other signs of receding gums. In addition, come in for an exam if your gums are sore or bleeding or appear more red than pink. Those are all signs of gum disease. Ideally, we can treat disease in its early stages before recession occurs. Often all that is needed is a deep-cleaning treatment to remove built-up bacteria from teeth and gums.