• By: Katie Hartai

‘Gum Docs’ Pinning Down the Best Option for Your Receding Gums

Destroying the structures that support teeth,gum recession is a dental problem three in every four adults face. It is not something to be ignored. Leaving the condition untreated can lead to serious physical and aesthetic discomfort down the road. GumDocs periodontal care offers several techniques to repair damage caused by receding gums.The team of caring professionals ensures that comfort and beauty are restored to every smile.
A case of gum recession before the Pinhole Surgical Technique. Credit-Dr. Karen FungRecessed gums after being treated with the Pinhole Surgical Technique. Credit-Dr. Karen Fung

Top to bottom: Before and after

Gum recession is the process when the tissue surrounding teeth is worn away or pulled back, exposing more of the tooth and possibly its root.This process allows for disease-causing bacteria to easily build up in the unnatural gaps creating a whole other set of issues like tooth decay, temperature sensitivity and bone loss. In the most severe cases, recession can cause teeth to fall out completely.

Although daily brushing is one of the best ways to prevent receding gums, it can also be the source of the problem. Using improper techniques or brushing too aggressively can quickly wear gums away. If recession does begin to develop, regular trips to the dentist will allow for an early identification of the condition and treatment plan.

There are three surgical options GumDocs offer patients whose advanced gum recession cannot be fought with deep cleaning. They perform two types of traditional grafting along with a new revolutionary method called the Pinhole® Surgical Technique.

Free gingival grafting uses a small donor tissue from the mouth palate. An incision is made at the site of recession and the thin gum is pushed to make room for the graft. Secured with glue or stitches, it will eventually become integrated with surrounding tissue but does appear thicker and lighter in colour. Although this method does not cover exposed roots, it can stop recession from happening or progressing further.

Connective tissue grafting uses an underlying piece of gum from the donor site, called the connective tissue. An incision is made at the site of recession to create a pocket for the graft. Tucked between the gum and tooth, glue or stitches are used to hold it in place. This is a more aesthetic approach and does cover exposed roots.

The Pinhole® Surgical Technique is a minimally invasive way to correct gum shrinkage and is used in cases where recession is attacking the entire mouth. It was invented, and is now patented, by John Chao, D.D.S., who first began performing the procedure nearly ten years ago in California.

During the surgery, a needle is used to make a small hole in existing gum tissue. Special instruments are then used to loosen the gums surrounding teeth, expanding and sliding the tissues to cover showing roots.There are many benefits to this method including a more comfortable recovery, no incisions, sutures or donor tissues and natural looking, long-lasting results.

Dentists wishing to perform the Pinhole® Surgical Technique must receive special training from Dr. Chao himself. Two surgeons at GumDocs have taken his course and are fully licensed to perform the breakthrough method. Dr. Karen Fung is one of them.

“If the patient is willing to follow the post-operative regimen, I feel incredibly comfortable with [the Pinhole® Surgical Technique],” Dr. Fung says. “The people upon whom I have performed the technique are very thankful, mostly because you can see a difference right away.”

Ottawa resident Damian MacLellan is one of them. The braces used on his teeth in the late 1970s caused severe gum recession as an adult. “It got to the point where eating anything cold or hot was very uncomfortable.”

Two years ago, MacLellan desperately underwent grafting surgery to help his situation, but the results weren’t what he had wanted. The following year he booked an appointment with Dr. Fung to try the Pinhole® Surgical Technique.That surpassed his expectations.

MacLellan says. “It is so much easier than grafting and not painful at all. It just felt like when I used to go in and get my braces tightened. I would recommend it without question.” There is no better recommendation than one from a happy client.

To learn more about this and other amazing procedures, visit gumdocs.com.