What is Gum Recession?
The gums around your teeth need to be healthy, strong and vibrant. This means they need to be pink and not red and bleeding. Simply stated your gums are a barrier system meant to protect your teeth, bone and even your body from the bacteria and microbes that can damage them. In this way your gums are protecting your body from foreign invaders and even your overall health.
Gum Recession is when the gums along the necks of your teeth pull away or erode exposing the roots of your teeth. This can be unsightly as the roots of your teeth are often darker than the crowns. The roots that are exposed can also be sensitive to cold, hot and sweets as the roots are more permeable and are closer to the nerve of the tooth.
Fully half of the adult population in our practice has gum recession. How do the gums pull back from the teeth? Usually it’s due to inflammation, decay, aggressive tooth brushing, or from stressors like grinding, clenching or braces.
Here is an example of significant recession of the gums exposing the roots underneath. This can cause pain and sensitivity and leads to a weak gum collar around the tooth and bone loss.
Here is recession exposing the dark color of the root underneath. This is natural as the dentin is sometimes much darker than the enamel of the crown which is usually white. People often think that dark roots are caused by decay. This is sometimes true but not always. If there is decay of course fillings are your best option. If it’s not decay the best option is to cover the root with healthier, stronger tissue.
Here an old crown is no longer cosmetic because the gums have receded exposing dark root underneath and the metal edge of the crown. In this case the patient decided to replace the crown rather than repair the gum recession.
Here is the finished crowns replacing the opaque crowns that certainly did not look natural. This was the right approach in this situation because the gums were stable and healthy even though they had receded over time. If you have recession you will need to discuss your options with your dentist.
Micro Gum Regeneration for Gum Loss and Sensitive Roots
Where there is significant gum recession, Pinhole Micro Gum Regeneration is a better option than traditional soft tissue grafting. While traditional gum surgery works, it involves cutting your gums with a scalpel, harvesting tissue from the roof of your mouth and suturing. Because of this, the pain experienced can be severe. With the Pinhole technique there is none of this. The gums are not cut away from the necks of the teeth, there is no harvesting of tissue from the roof of your mouth and no suturing. Thus the discomfort is much less and lasts typically a few days rather than a 2-3 weeks.
Results Our Patients are Experiencing
While with every situation results vary due to a number of factors. But with that said, you can experience an improvement in the tone, health and strength of your gums. While recovery of 100% of the lost gum tissue is difficult to achieve, we are experiencing very good results with the Pinhole Technique.
Let us show you an example
Here is a case with significant recession on all the front teeth. As you can see the teeth look too long and a little like fangs.
Here is the result experienced by this patient with the Pinhole Technique. This picture was taken less than two weeks after the procedure. You can see from the photo that healing of the tissue is nearly complete. Amazing result and healing time!
Is Pinhole Regeneration Right for Me?
Is the Pinhole technique the right solution for you? Here are the questions you might ask yourself:
- Are my gums receding or are my roots exposed?
- Are my gums red, inflamed or do they bleed?
- Are my teeth or gums sensitive when I brush them?
- Are my roots sensitive to cold, hot or sweet food?
- Do my teeth look too long, are they crowded or loose?
- Is my dentist recommend frequent cleanings or deep cleanings?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above you may want to come in to see Dr Bae, our integrative gum specialist. He has postgraduate degrees in periodontology and has many specialized certificates. The Pinhole technique is one of his favorite procedures because it strengthens the gums as well as corrects recession.
Dr Bae prides himself on education and relating patients’ oral condition to systemic stresses and inflammation. Our patients who have seen him have been really glad they did. Dr Bae is a great match for the health conscious, holistic patients that come to see us.
If you would like to set up an appointment to see Dr Bae for a consultation, please call 760-632-1304 to set up a time.