What kind of issues do you have with tissues? Who didn’t replace the roll of bathroom tissue? Do you need a facial tissue? Those situations create mild discomfort, but in this case, our Placerville dentists are concerned about the tissue in your mouth – gum tissue. As we get older, our gums recede from our teeth, often exposing the roots. This happens even when we’re younger due to poor oral hygiene, bad eating habits, drug use, and aggressive toothbrushing or lip piercings. Since roots are softer and more vulnerable than teeth, bacteria in the mouth may cause decay at exposed roots, and eventually tooth loss. It’s important to get the gumline back up on the teeth for root protection – not to mention a better smile. So how do we get the gums back on the teeth?
Until recently, the only way to resolve receding gum tissue was with tissue grafting. This procedure involves cutting out tissue from your mouth, usually the roof, and stitching it onto the receding gums around two or three teeth. After two or three weeks of uncomfortable healing with stitches and cuts in the patient’s mouth (imagine what a pizza burn feels like and you get the idea), the next area is treated. This could happen several times, going on for months before the procedure is totally complete. Some patients choose to endure the risks of receding gums instead of going through this procedure.
Receding Gums Addressed
To better serve the Placerville community, Dr. Cheema is certified for a relatively new and improved gum restoration procedure. It’s called the Pinhole Surgical Technique, or PST. Dr. John Chao of Los Angeles, California invented this procedure.
PST avoids cutting and stiches by creating a tiny ‘pinhole’ in the gumline instead. This small wound heals by itself within days. Using a special tool, Dr. Cheema then repositions the gum tissue back where it needs to be, using the pinhole. Since gum tissue is soft and elastic, it responds very well to this repositioning. Collagen strips reinforce the gums in their new position and are eventually absorbed by the body. Instead of only two or three teeth at a time, PST can resolve all receding gum issues in the same session, and the procedure takes less than an hour. When most patients check the mirror on the way out, they see immediate improvement in their gumline and their smile. Healing is usually complete in a matter of weeks.
PST has plenty of benefits. The procedure does not cut up parts of your mouth, causing damage that needs to heal. Since the procedure requires few, if any, stiches in your gums, you won’t find yourself exploring them with your tongue or limiting your diet. Many patients report very little pain or discomfort with PST. Not only is the duration of the procedure much shorter than tissue grafting, but also recovery time is also much less.
Thanks to the Pinhole Surgery Technique, receding gum tissue no longer needs to be an issue. However, if you have any additional questions or concerns, we’d be glad to discuss them and help you determine if this technique will improve your oral health. Please call us or schedule an appointment.