Gum recession is involves the gums becoming shorter and shorter, lengthening the appearance of the tooth. At its worst, gum recession exposes the roots of the teeth. Since the roots are porous, compared to the tougher enamel, they are easily damaged. So gum recession leads to tooth sensitivity, root decay and tooth loss. In the past, the primary solution was a gum transplant, transferring oral tissue from the roof of the mouth to the gums in a painful procedure that required at least a couple of weeks of healing.
The modern solution for gum recession is the pinhole surgical technique (PST). This minor procedure takes advantage of the natural elasticity of your gums to stretch them back to their original position. Using techniques that generally do not require sutures, the gums naturally reattach themselves to their new position on your teeth.
Performing Pinhole Surgery
To begin, your gums are numbed with a local anesthetic. Then a small hole is made in the gum with a tiny hook. The dentist then loosens the gum from the tooth and lifts it out and down. To hold it in place, a biodegradable material is packed behind the gum, using the pinhole. The entire procedure is over in a relatively short period of time, depending on the number of teeth treated. Since few or no sutures are involved, the recovery period is significantly shortened from the two weeks required for gum grafting. Many people are able to go back to work the next day, but if you need a little more sick leave, a few days to a week are reasonable periods for rest and recuperation.
To determine if you are a candidate for (PST), visit or contact our Carmichael dental office and ask to consult with our periodontist about treatment for gum recession.